Devastated Widow of Joiner Seeks Justice in Asbestos Investigation Following Loss Of Husband And Carer

Wife of Asbestos Victim Appeals for Former Colleagues’ Help



The widow of a former joiner who recently died after an agonising battle with an asbestos-related disease is appealing for her husband’s former colleagues to come forward and help with an investigation into his death.
Derek Goode, who lived with wife Madeleine on Briarfield Road, Birmingham, was diagnosed with pleural thickening and asbestosis in January 2012 following a scan.  After his diagnosis, Derek began to lose weight rapidly with no explanation from doctors and towards the end of his life he weighed a frighteningly low 6 stone 3lbs.
Derek, who worked as a joiner for Gupwells Limited, Bradford Street, Birmingham, instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to pursue his case in March this year but sadly died two months later.
Madeleine is now continuing Derek’s pursuit for justice and is appealing for his former colleagues to help Irwin Mitchell with their investigations.

The former joiner believed he was exposed to asbestos in the early 70’s during a shop fitting project that lasted a month at the Horne Brothers Clothing site, now a Primark in central Birmingham. He recalled stripping off the walls and asbestos sheeting being detected underneath.

Madeleine said: “I am absolutely heartbroken to lose Derek and now I want justice as we discovered he had been diagnosed with asbestosis.

“Derek was my lifeline, he did everything for me including the cooking and shopping. Even though he was extremely poorly, Derek still continued to look after me until the very end.  I have lost my husband, my loving support and my day to day carer. I just feel lost and helpless without him.

“I hope people are out there who worked with my Derek and they can help with our investigation and bring justice for my husband and our family.”

 Rajni Bharj, an asbestos-related disease expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell representing the family, commented: “Derek worked on this particular shop front at some point in the early 70’s but unfortunately that shop no longer exists and has become a Primark shopping outlet. Because of this we are urging anyone to come forward who may have worked at the Horne Brothers Clothing Site around that time.
“Although Derek was suffering badly in the last 12 months of his life he continued to support Madeleine and be a devoted husband.
“Employers knew the dangers of asbestos exposure well before the 1970s so there is no excuse for so many companies not providing their workers with the appropriate protection. Unfortunately they are only now suffering the effects of the negligence as the illnesses associated with the deadly dust can take decades to develop.”
Anybody with relevant information should contact Rajni Bharj at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 6584 or email

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestosis following exposure to asbestos, our expert asbestosis lawyers could help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.