Retired Nurse Appeals To Former Colleagues For Help After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Specialist Industrial Illness Lawyers Investigating Former Nurse’s Exposure To Asbestos

22.01.2015

A retired nurse who spent much of her working life in Liverpool is appealing to her former workmates for help in her legal battle, after she was diagnosed with abdominal mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer.

Letitia Williams, (nee Witham), 70, began to suffer severe pain in her stomach in June 2014 and needed extensive abdominal surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead. 

Tests on tissue samples taken during the operation revealed she was suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

Mrs Williams believes that she was exposed to the deadly dust while working at Sefton General Hospital and an Engineering company in Liverpool in the 1960s and 1970s and the mother-of-two has instructed expert industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her investigate the working conditions she endured. 

Mrs Williams, who now lives in Rickelton, near Washington, Tyne and Wear, is seeking justice and a settlement which will be used to provide vital care and support for her as she deals with the terminal illness. She is also concerned about her husband, John, 83, who suffers with Parkinson’s disease, as she is currently his primary carer. 

She believes she was exposed to asbestos dust while working as a nurse at Sefton General Hospital, Liverpool, between 1961 and 1968, and during her work at Laystall Engineering Company Limited in Aintree, Liverpool between 1970 and 1972.

She is now appealing for her former colleagues and contractors who worked at the hospital, as well as workmates at Laystall Engineering and those who used the products made by the company, to come forward to help with Irwin Mitchell’s investigation into the conditions she was exposed to and how she came into contact with asbestos.

Mrs Williams trained as a nurse at Sefton General Hospital under her maiden name Witham. She recalled the building being very old and asbestos being used in the fabric of the building, as well as on the pipework.

In 1970 she took up a role with Laystall Engineering Company Limited as a wage clerk, where she was required to distribute weekly salaries to workers on the factory floor. The engineering firm made components used in electrical substations and power stations.

Mrs Williams told her legal team at Irwin Mitchell that the environment on the workshop floor was very dusty when she visited parts of the workshop weekly to hand out wages.

Roger Maddocks, a Partner an expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, leading the case, said: 
Expert Opinion
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer that causes a significant amount of pain for victims like Letitia who was exposed to asbestos simply by going to work.”

“Understandably, she is extremely upset and angry that she has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and is worried about her future and that of her husband, John, who has Parkinson’s disease and is cared for by Letitia.”

“Her employers should have been aware of the dangers asbestos posed to workers and measures should have put in place to protect members of staff from the deadly substance. “

“We hope that anyone whom worked at Sefton General Hospital and Laystall Engineering come forward and provide the crucial information we need about the conditions she worked in and how they were exposed to asbestos.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner


Letitia said: “I was totally shocked when I was diagnosed with abdominal mesothelioma, which was caused by my exposure to asbestos dust and fibres during my working life decades ago. I have severe pain in my stomach and midriff and the operation has had a huge effect on my daily life.”

“I am extremely concerned about what the future holds for me, and my husband John, as I have been his primary carer since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over 20 years ago.”

“My two children, Lisa and Jonathan, both live in London, so I do not know how we will manage if my condition worsens and I can’t care for myself and John.”

“Hopefully, my former colleagues will come forward with the information we need to progress the case and ensure my previous employers are brought to justice.” 

Anyone with information about the working conditions at the above company’s should contact Kirstie Wilson at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0136 or email Kirstie.Wilson@irwinmitchell.com.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos, our expert mesothelioma lawyers could help you claim compensation. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.