Widow Of Electrician Who Died From Mesothelioma Before Anniversary Celebrations Battles For Answers

Expert Lawyers Call For Information About His Asbestos Exposure

09.05.2014

The devastated widow of a man who died from a debilitating industrial illness just a few weeks before they were due to celebrate their wedding anniversary and his birthday is appealing for his ex colleagues to come forward with information to confirm his recollection of how he came into contact with asbestos.

Mark Payne, of Bransholme in Hull, died aged 68 on 2 March 2013 – just a few weeks before his 69th birthday and his 50th wedding anniversary, which he was due to celebrate with his wife Barbara. Mark had battled mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure, for just five months before his death.

Barbara has been so devastated by her husband’s death she instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell who are helping her in her battle for answers.

The dad-of-two and granddad-of-one believed his condition was caused by exposure to asbestos while working as an apprentice electrician at Blackburn Aircraft Limited and at CE Barnes in Durham Street, where he was also an electrician.

Mark worked at Blackburn Aircraft Limited, which is now known as BAE, between 1959 and 1962 and believed he came into contact with asbestos whist refurbishing old machinery in a building workers called ‘the shed.’

He also recalled coming into contact with asbestos while working at electrical contracting firm CE Barnes Limited, where he worked between 1962/63 and 1979. The majority of his work for CE Barnes was sub-contracted out to another company called Spooners (Hull) Limited, which was based on Clough Road and built new schools and medical clinics in the area.

Mark was responsible for wiring the boilers, control panels and thermostats in the new buildings, which were often lagged with asbestos. He recalled working closely to laggers mixing asbestos paste in large buckets before applying the plaster over chicken wire to coat the building’s pipe work.

Mark also remembered carrying out electrical work on new housing developments, such as the Bransholme Estate in Hull, where he also worked alongside labourers using asbestos to insulate the porches, soffits and gutters.

Nicola Handley, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office who is representing Barbara, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for victims like Mark who worked in industries where asbestos was regularly used. Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure, despite knowing how dangerous it is.

“We hope that Mark’s former co-workers will come forward to help answer the many questions his family has about his exposure as well as what measures, if any, were in place to protect employees like him.”

Mark was diagnosed with mesothelioma on 18 October 2012 and underwent a course of chemotherapy at Castle Hill Hospital. His devoted wife, a former nurse, cared for him throughout his illness while also suffering from a brain tumour and recovering from heart surgery herself at the time.

He died on 2 March 2013 after battling the illness for five months. He was due to celebrate his birthday on 23 March and his anniversary on 2 August. An inquest into his death was held at Hull Coroner’s Court on 22 May 2013 and the Coroner, Professor Paul Marks, recorded a verdict of industrial disease.
Barbara says Mark’s death has been a devastating blow to her and the couple’s daughters Deborah, 49, and Jill, 46.

She said: “Seeing Mark’s condition deteriorate so badly due to mesothelioma has been absolutely heartbreaking for me and my daughters, something I don’t think we will ever get over. He used to be so fit and strong but once the illness took hold he struggled to breathe, he lost his appetite and he couldn’t sleep. He used to also love growing herbs in the garden, which had even appeared on Gardeners’ World, so he was devastated when he couldn’t maintain it anymore.
 
“We used to go to Blackpool on holiday with friends every year and we we’re also looking forward to a trip to the Lake District to celebrate our anniversary, but we had to cancel both because he was so unwell. He was always such a huge support to me and helped me cope with my own health problems and I miss him every day.

“He spoke about the conditions at Blackburn Aircraft Ltd and CE Barnes as being dirty and dusty and recalled working alongside other tradesmen who used asbestos. I just hope they can now help my legal team at Irwin Mitchell confirm his recollection of how the company’s used asbestos so I can finally honour his memory and get the answers I deserve.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at Blackburn Aircraft Limited and at CE Barnes should contact Nicola Handley at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 220 6233 or email nicola.handley@irwinmitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.