Family Of Former Draftsman Appeals To Ex-Colleagues After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Specialist Industrial Disease Lawyers Instructed To Help Seek Justice


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

The heartbroken family of a former draftsman is appealing to his former London colleagues to come forward with vital information as they launch a battle for justice after he died of an asbestos-related cancer nearly two decades after he retired.

David De Fraine, originally from Eltham in London but then moved to East Yorkshire, was diagnosed in January last year with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust decades ago and sadly died just five months later.

Specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell together with his family are now appealing for his former colleagues to help provide information on the working conditions he endured.

David worked at various companies in London throughout his career, these included:

  • J Stone & Co at the Arklow Road site in Deptford and Charlton site, Greenwich from 1950 until 1960. He worked on the main factory floor machine shop and fitting shop during his time there.
  • Molins Machine Co in Bermondsey. He was employed as a draftsman and was responsible for designing and overseeing making of tools, working on the factory floor and in the offices
  • Roplas on Norman Road, Greenwich from 1985 until 1998. He recalls during his time at this company when a part of the roof was blown off during the 1987 gales and a roof panel lined with asbestos came crashing down onto the factory floor.

Ian Toft, an expert asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing David’s family, said:

Expert Opinion
“Mesothelioma is a terrible illness for which there is, sadly, no cure. It usually takes several decades after exposure to asbestos before the symptoms begin, making it difficult for people to recall where and how they came into contact with the dangerous dust.

“Employers should have been aware of the dangers of exposing workers to asbestos during the 1950s but sadly many workers were severely let down and this case highlights the devastating consequences that exposure to asbestos can have.

“We would like to speak people who worked alongside David at J Stone & Co, Molins Machine & Co, Raymond Engineering or Roplas as they may be able to help shed more light on the working conditions and provide crucial information to help his family to access the justice they deserve.”
Ian Toft, Associate

David first experienced symptoms in September 2013 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2014.

At an inquest into his death at Kingston Upon Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire Coroner’s Court, HM Coroner Rosemary Baxter recorded a verdict of death by Industrial Disease in December last year.

His wife said: “David’s diagnosis came as a real shock to us both. He had always considered himself as fit and healthy and we enjoyed long walks near to where we live and he used to always help me with the shopping, cleaning and DIY around the house, but since he was diagnosed he has struggled to do these things.

“David was in hospital for a while as he was very short of breath and in a lot of pain, but thankfully he was discharged and was able to spend some time at home. His condition rapidly deteriorated since his diagnosis and he died just five months later in June last year – we are completely devastated as the disease took its toll on his health so quickly.

“I would like to urge anyone who knew David or worked with him over the years at these companies to come forward with any information on the various sites as it could be vital to the investigation by our legal team at Irwin Mitchell to determine where he was exposed to asbestos during his career.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at J Stone & Co, Molins Machine & Co, Raymond Engineering or Roplas is asked to contact Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 220 6235 or email

Our expert mesothelioma claims team will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.