Widow Of Former Draftsman Appeals To Ex Colleagues After Asbestos-Related Death

Specialist Workplace Illness Lawyers Investigate Exposure


The widow of a former draftsman who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former work colleagues for help as she vows to secure justice for his death.

George Yates, (also known as Alan), was 80 when he died in June 2013 after a year-long battle with mesothelioma, a cancer which affects the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

His wife, Marie, from Harborne, has now instructed industrial disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions at his former employers and whether more could have been done to protect him from exposure to the deadly dust.

The father-of-three and grandfather-of-two began his career as a trainee draughtsman at Hawker Siddeley Aviation Limited in 1955, becoming a qualified draftsman and remaining with the company until 1963, where he carried out a variety of engineering work throughout the factory at Whitley, Coventry. It is believed that asbestos was present in the materials used to manufacture the aircrafts made by the company.

Expert Opinion
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes significant distress to victims and their families. The only known cause of Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos dust and it could have been avoided simply by being given appropriate protection.

“We hope that George’s former colleagues will be able to come forward with any information about the conditions at Hawker Siddeley Aviation Limited.

“The dangers and risks of exposure to asbestos dust were identified as early as 1940 and 1950, yet all too often we see workers and their families who have been left devastated decades later because their relatives were not warned of the dangers or given the appropriate protection.”
Hayley Hill, Associate
George began to suffer from breathlessness, lethargy and chest pain in May 2012 and was referred by his GP to Queen Elizabeth hospital for further investigation. Although he had numerous tests and scans throughout his illness, his diagnosis of mesothelioma was not confirmed until after he died.
Marie, 67, said: “Our whole family are devastated by George’s death – as his health declined he really struggled to do many things and needed round-the-clock care.

“We were only told after George died that his illness was caused by asbestos exposure and this terrible illness took him so quickly from us and it was extremely difficult to see him suffering as the illness took hold. 

“I would like to urge any of George’s former colleagues to come forward if they have any information, no matter how small, it really could help secure justice for him.”

Anyone who worked with George at Hawker Siddeley Aviation Limited between 1955 and 1963 is asked to contact Hayley Hill at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 5407 or email Hayley.hill@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.