Widow Of Miner Who Suffered Mesothelioma Appeals For Information

Devastated Family Instruct Expert Asbestos Lawyers In Battle For Justice

28.05.2014

The heartbroken family of a former National Coal Board worker who died after suffering from a debilitating asbestos-related illness is appealing for his ex-colleagues to come forward with information to help specialist lawyers investigate whether more could have been done to protect him from the deadly dust.

Ron Ball, from Penkridge in Staffordshire, died aged 80, in August 2011 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma just the day before following a couple of months of breathlessness.

His wife Joan, 82, instructed expert industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell in her battle for answers as to why her husband was allowed to work in conditions without appropriate protection to the deadly asbestos dust which caused the disease.

Ron worked for the National Coal Board from 1951 to 1960 at Littleton Pit, in Staffordshire where he worked as a cage winder; he was responsible for controlling the wheel that lowered and lifted the cage for the miners going into the pit. He then joined Cramic Aircraft Components Limited, based in Tipton in the West Midlands from 1960 to 1971 where he worked as a machinist and then a quality control inspector.

Expert Opinion
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress to victims like Ron who worked in industries such as mining - a trade where we know workers regularly came into contact with asbestos but were not given the appropriate protection.

“We hope his former colleagues will be able to confirm Ron’s recollection of how the National Coal Board may have used asbestos and whether more could potentially have been done by his employers to protect him from the deadly dust.

“The dangers and risks from exposure to asbestos dust were identified as early as 1898, by H M Factory Inspector yet all too often we see workers and their families who have been left devastated decades later because they were not warned or given the appropriate protection.”
Iain Shoolbred, Associate

Joan, who is now retired, said: “As mesothelioma was not diagnosed until the day before Ron died, he didn’t have any morphine or strong pain relief and at the end he was suffering from severe chest pain and really struggling to breathe.

“It is such a horrible illness and it shocked me how quickly Ron declined, as before he started suffering symptoms he had been so active and we frequently went for afternoon walks together.

“I now hope as many of his ex-work-mates as possible will help the team at Irwin Mitchell investigate if more could potentially have been done by his employer to protect him from the dangerous asbestos so we can finally honour his memory and get the justice we deserve for losing him in such a terrible way.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at the Littleton Pit in Staffordshire or Cramic Aircraft Limited between 1960 and 1971 should contact Iain Shoolbred at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office on 0121 214 5446 or email iain.shoolbred@irwinmitchell.com