Widow Calls For Husband's Former Colleagues To Assist With Asbestos Investigation

Expert Lawyers Seek Former Tiler’s Workmates to Help Gain Justice for His Family

02.09.2014

The devastated widow of a retired ceramic tiler who died from a terminal illness caused by exposure to asbestos has called on her husband’s former colleagues to help her understand how and when he came to be exposed to the deadly dust. 

Father-of-one Sydney Herbert first sought medical help in April 2012 for shortness of breath and chest pains and in July 2013 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs, after undergoing a series of investigations.  

Sydney, who was from Hull, passed away in August last year, just weeks after finding out he had the condition, leaving his family heartbroken.

Sydney’s wife, Margaret, has instructed industrial illness experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where Sydney was exposed to asbestos and if more could have been done to protect him. She is now backing the firm’s calls for Sydney’s former colleagues to get in touch as it is believed they may hold vital evidence about the exposure.

Sydney, who was known to his friends as Lou, worked as a ceramic tiler for British Clay Products Limited in the 1950s and stayed with the company until his retirement in the mid-1990s. 

It is thought he was exposed to asbestos whilst working on site where buildings were being renovated and refurbished. Sydney worked on pre-existing industrial sites including factories, foundries and steel works, as well as schools, hospitals and public swimming baths and on new construction sites. Whilst not using asbestos himself, Sydney worked in close proximity to other tradesmen who were using asbestos.

British Clay Products Limited, which based on Chamberlain Road in Hull, later traded as Northern Clay Products Limited and following that as Swedecor. 

Ian Toft is a specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell. 

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Wife Margaret recalled to lawyers that her husband was always a healthy and active person before he began experiencing symptoms. 

She said: “My husband Lou was always active and it was heartbreaking to watch his condition deteriorate so rapidly.  

“I hope that anybody who worked with Lou will come forward and help us to find out precisely what happened and how he was exposed to the asbestos the led to his terminal cancer and our family’s terrible loss.” 

Anyone who may be able to help with information about the working conditions at British Clay Products Limited, Northern Clay Products Limited or Swedecor during the 50s through to the 90s can contact Ian Toft on 0370 1500 100 or email Ian.Toft@Irwinmitchell.com.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to mesothelioma claims