Family Of Electrician Killed By Exposure To Asbestos Dust Appeal For Ex Colleagues For Information

Industrial Illness Legal Experts Working With Family in Battle for Justice

23.01.2014

The family of an electrician, who died from an incurable asbestos-related cancer, are appealing for his ex-colleagues to come forward with information to help specialist lawyers piece together how he was exposed to the deadly dust.

Dennis Smith, of Calverley, Pudsey, received the heartbreaking news in May 2011 that he had contracted the aggressive asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma. The diagnosis followed months of tests at Wharfedale Hospital after he was referred by his GP in December 2010 following his inability to shake off a persistent cough.

The 79-year-old former electrician passed away from the condition just three months later in July 2011 and now his family is working with specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in a battle for answers as to how he was exposed to the deadly dust, and whether it could have been avoided.

Mr Lomas, Dennis’ brother-in-law, said: “Dennis suffered for nearly a year with the symptoms of what turned out to be mesothelioma and he deteriorated quickly after his diagnosis in May 2011.

“The condition is caused by exposure to asbestos, and we are determined to get to the bottom of how and when he came into contact with this deadly dust.”

It is thought that Dennis may have been exposed to asbestos at the beginning of his career in Leeds when he worked for Green and Smith, first as an apprentice electrician between 1947 and 1952 and later as a fully qualified electrician between 1954 and 1960.

It also believed that he may have been exposed to the dust while working for Leeds based electrical contractor Albert Innes in 1960 after leaving his position with Green and Smith.

Irwin Mitchell’s team of industrial illness experts are appealing for any of Dennis’s former colleagues at either company to come forward with information that may reveal the working conditions he would have faced and whether asbestos was present.

Ian Toft, an industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell working on the case, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress to victims like Dennis who worked as electricians – a trade recognised for workers regularly coming into contact with deadly asbestos during the course of their employment.

“We hope his former workmates will be able to confirm details about where he may have encountered asbestos and if more could potentially have been done to protect him.”

Mr Lomas said: “It is shocking to think that the working conditions that Dennis faced when he was just a young lad could, ultimately, have caused this terrible, incurable condition.

“We feel it is important that this is investigated thoroughly so that we know where and when Dennis was exposed to asbestos and so that hopefully, we can achieve justice for him.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at Green and Smith between 1954 and 1960 or at Albert Innes in 1960 should contact Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or email ian.toft@irwinmitchell.com