Family Of Former Steelworker Who Died of Asbestos Cancer Appeal For Help

Lawyers Appeal For Ex-Colleagues To Help With Asbestos Investigation As Country Marks Action Mesothelioma Day


By Dave Grimshaw

The family of a former steelworker, who died of an asbestos-related cancer, is appealing for his former colleagues to help provide information on the working conditions at his past employers in Rotherham and Sheffield.

Walter Casterton, who lived in Wickersley, Rotherham, died on 16 March 2013 aged 89 after suffering from mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer.

He had been suffering from breathlessness for a couple of years before his diagnosis was confirmed on 27 December 2012. Mr Casterton also had Alzheimer’s disease.

His family has now instructed specialist industrial illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in a search for answers as to how and why their father was exposed to deadly asbestos dust and fibres.

Mr Casterton’s daughter Josie and her lawyers are speaking out as asbestos victims and their families mark Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday 5th July and hope their appeal will help them in their battle for justice.

It is believed he may have been exposed to asbestos during any one of the following periods of employment:  his work in the property department at the National Coal Board from 1953 to 1955; while working for Rotherham Borough Council as a carpenter in the property team from 1955 to 1960; as a steelworker at Hadfields Ltd in Attercliffe; at London & Scandinavian Metallurgical Co Ltd in Rotherham; at the East Midlands Gas Board; or at Tinsley Wire Industries Ltd in Sheffield, all between 1961 and 1977.

Irwin Mitchell will be supporting an event at Sheffield City Hall on Friday at 11am organised by the Sheffield and Rotherham Asbestos Group with Adrian Budgen from the firm speaking on behalf of the June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund.

Simone Hardy, an expert asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “It’s believed that Mr Casterton may have been exposed to asbestos at work but, unfortunately, because of his Alzheimer’s, he was not able to give us detailed evidence about his work history.

“Because it can be decades after exposure to asbestos that mesothelioma finally takes hold, it is often difficult to recall when the exposure occurred. We would like to speak to anyone who worked at those the above firms and who knew Walter at work, as they may be able to help us with the legal case.

“We are seeing more and more cases where either the clients themselves don't know where they've been exposed to asbestos or their family members are struggling to piece everything together regarding where their loved one was exposed.

“It demonstrates just how much asbestos was a 'hidden killer' and illustrates why it is important for people to seek legal advice as soon as possible.”

Josie, one of seven children to Mr Casterton and his wife Elsie, said: “It was devastating when we found out about my father’s illness.  He used to enjoy spending time with his family and walking and swimming as well as gardening and reading.

“Hopefully people who worked with my father will come forward and help Irwin Mitchell with the investigation. We just want to know how and where he was exposed to asbestos.

Any former colleagues who may be able to help with information about the working conditions at any of the employers mentioned should contact Simone Hardy on 0114 274 4420 or at

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Asbestos claims.