Widow Of Former Chartered Quantity Surveyor Appeals For Help In Asbestos Investigation

Specialist Industrial Disease Lawyers Instructed To Help Seek Justice

23.10.2014

The widow of a former surveyor is appealing to his former ex colleagues and others to come forward with vital information concerning his work history after he died from an asbestos-related cancer.

David Stabler, from Wooler, Northumberland died aged 80 on 6 April this year after a six month battle with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer which is caused by exposure to harmful asbestos dust and fibres decades ago.

His wife, instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate David’s former employers to see whether more could have been done to protect him from the dangerous dust.

After he left school in 1949, David trained as a trainee quantity surveyor in London, where he began his career. In 1961, David joined Martin Sheffield and Bristow (later known as Bristow, Johnson and Partners and then Monaghan Bristow Partnership), based in Sackville Street in London. A couple of years later he moved up to Newcastle to open a new office there for the firm.

Throughout his 30 year employment at Martin Sheffield and Bristow he visited various construction sites across the North East including Patterson’s Car Showrooms on Scotswood Road, Norgas House in Killingworth, Kenton Housing Estate in Newcastle, the Engineering Research Station and Gateshead Stadium.

Expert Opinion
We hope that David’s former colleagues and others who worked at these sites or projects will be able to come forward with any information about the conditions where he worked during his career as a chartered surveyor so we can gather evidence to see whether more could have been done by his employers to protect him from the deadly dust.

“Mesothelioma takes decades to develop after the exposure to asbestos but it is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress to victims and their families as a result of simply not being given appropriate protection.

“The dangers and risks from exposure to asbestos dust were known by companies from at least the 1950s yet all too often we see workers and their families who have been left devastated decades later because they were not given the correct safety equipment to protect them from exposure.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner
In October 2013, David began to experience pain in his right armpit which spread to his shoulder blade. He thought it was a muscular injury and took paracetamol to relieve the pain. He condition worsened and he was referred for an x-ray and further tests whilst he and his wife were on holiday abroad in January this year. 

David and his wife had to cut their holiday short and fly back to the UK so David could have more tests at Wansbeck Hospital. David was admitted to St Oswald’s Hospice as his condition deteriorated and he died there on 6 April.

The Coroner, Mrs Karen Dilks finalised the inquest into David’s death on the 23rd of June and concluded that David died from malignant mesothelioma, an “Industrial Disease” as a result of exposure to asbestos.

David’s Widow said: “I was devastated after David passed away. Throughout his illness he coped well but his condition rapidly deteriorated as his pain worsened and he was admitted to the hospice to help him manage his condition and relieve his pain. 

“He rapidly declined and even though we all knew of his diagnosis it still was a shock to see him suffer like he did. I hope that this appeal will raise awareness so that anyone who knew or worked with David will come forward to help us to determine when and where he was exposed to the asbestos dust that eventually killed him and to seek justice in his memory. To think that the reason he got this terrible disease is simply because he was tirelessly working all his life is shocking.”

Anyone who worked at Martin Sheffield and Bristow, or Bristow Johnson and Partners or their clients at any of the sites or projects mentioned above are asked to contact Katie Faulds at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0095 or email katie.faulds@irwinmitchell.com.