Heartbroken Widow Calls On Late Husband’s Colleagues For Help After Peritoneal Mesothelioma Death

Expert Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers Investigating Shipyard Asbestos Exposure

01.12.2015

The devastated widow of a Newcastle tiler is appealing to her late husband’s colleagues after he died from peritoneal mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the abdomen caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

Walter Calvert, 74, died in September 2015 after a short battle with the disease and now his widow, Jean, 71, has instructed expert asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where Walter was exposed to the asbestos dust and fibres that caused his mesothelioma.

Jean, from Benwell, Newcastle believes Walter was exposed to the deadly substance while working as a tiler for Commercial Marble & Tiles, where he was responsible for laying floor tiles on a number of ships at shipyards over a 20-year period.

She explained to her legal team at Irwin Mitchell that Walter worked as a contractor at a number of shipyards, including the Naval Yard, Swans Dry Dock, Swan Hunters, in Wallsend, Thomsons, in Sunderland, Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, Harland & Wolffs in Belfast and Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness.

Before his death, Walter, a father-of-three, told Jean that he spent time working on the ships alongside other tradesmen, including joiners and laggers, who would regularly cut asbestos sheeting or use asbestos dust to manufacture lagging for the ships’ pipework.

He said this often released the dust into the atmosphere and Jean recalls his work clothes being covered is dust when he came home from the shipyards and that Walter was not provided with a mask when he worked on board the ships.

Jean, with the backing of her legal team at Irwin Mitchell, is now appealing for anyone who worked with Walter at Commercial Marble & Tiles and spent time contracting at various shipyards to come forward with the information she needs to get the answers she deserves about what caused her husband to develop peritoneal mesothelioma.

Roger Maddocks, a Partner and expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

Expert Opinion
“Peritoneal is an extremely rare and very aggressive form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure and it can cause a great deal of pain and suffering for victims like Walter, who sadly paid the ultimate price for simply going to work and providing for is family.

“All too often we see cases like Walter’s where workers spent time working in dusty environments around asbestos and were not provided with protective equipment. It can take decades for symptoms to develop and often it is then too late for victims to recall how and where they were exposed.

“We hope that Walter’s colleagues from Commercial Marble & Tiles, who may have been sent on similar jobs, or those who worked at major shipyards across the North-East, North-West and Northern Ireland will come forward with the crucial information we need to get answers for Jean and her family.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner

Jean, a mother-of-three, said: “Walter was always such a fit and healthy man, which made it even more difficult to see him in so much pain in the final months of his life and to watch his health deteriorate so quickly.

“It is absolutely heart-breaking to know that this disease was caused by asbestos and we are determined to find out how and where he was exposed to it and why more wasn’t done to protect him and the others who worked on these ships.

“We did everything we could as a family to make him as comfortable as possible but I could tell he was in a lot of pain towards the end. I hope his former workmates will now come forward and help us get the answers we deserve and ensure those who failed to protect him are held to account.”

Anyone who worked with Walter at Commercial Marble & Tiles or has information on the working conditions on-board ships in shipyards should contact Kirstie Devine on 0191 279 0136 or email Kirstie.Devine@IrwinMitchell.com.