Woman Appeals To Former Colleagues After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Expert Industrial Illness Lawyers Instructed To Investigate Exposure to Asbestos


A teaching assistant diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer is appealing to her former colleagues to help with an investigation to find out why more wasn’t done to protect her health at a Yeovil factory during the 1980s.

Rebecca Chamberlin, 57, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire was diagnosed in January last year with mesothelioma after several months of breathlessness and the feeling of water in her lungs from the summer in 2012.  The terminal cancer affects the lining of the lungs, and is caused by exposure to harmful asbestos dust decades ago. 

Since her diagnosis, Rebecca has undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy and has instructed expert industrial illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where she was exposed to asbestos and also why more wasn’t done to warn her of the dangers and protect her from exposure.

From 1982 to 1985, Rebecca worked in an administrative role at Larkhill Soling Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Clarks, the shoe manufacturer which later became part of Chamberlin Phipps Ltd. Rebecca worked in the offices, but she used to go onto the factory floor twice a day which was very dusty.

Expert Opinion
“We are appealing to anyone who worked at Larkhill Soling Company Ltd to come forward with any information about the working conditions and the presence of asbestos in the factory.

“Asbestos cases can be complex as it takes decades after exposure for the symptoms of illness to develop. It is important that these cases are handled by specialist lawyers who understand how to properly investigate on the clients behalf as it can be difficult for them to recall the conditions in their early working life.

“Mesothelioma is an industrial illness for which sadly there is no cure. Companies have been well aware of the risks associated with asbestos exposure since the 1950s and 1960s, yet many workers like Rebecca were not warned of the dangers.

“We hope people can come forward with information as it may help us achieve justice on her behalf.”
Natalia Rushworth-White, Solicitor

Rebecca said: “When I was diagnosed in hospital with mesothelioma, it was completely unexpected and life changing I was told that I may have only months to live, with the average life expectancy is 18 months and I have been really struggling to come to terms with it all.

“The treatment has temporarily relived most of the symptoms and I am beginning to feel more positive and value each and every day.

“I would urge anyone who I knew or worked with at Larkhill Soling Company in Somerset to come forward to help with the investigation so I can get some answers on why more wasn’t done to protect my health whilst at work.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions at the Larkhill Soling Company Ltd should contact Natalia Rushworth at Irwin Mitchell’s London office on 0207 421 3900 or email Natalia.RushworthWhite@irwinmitchell.com.   

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our expert mesothelioma solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.