Sister Appeals For Information Regarding Leeds Man’s Asbestos Death

Specialist Lawyers Launch Investigation On Behalf Of Family

05.10.2015

The family of a former asbestos worker from Leeds who died of an asbestos-related cancer are appealing for his former colleagues to come forward and help support their search for answers regarding his exposure to the deadly dust.

John Michael Kelsey died aged 68 in February 2015 and it was not until after his death that an autopsy revealed the cause of his death was mesothelioma - a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

Following an inquest at Harrogate on the 10th September 2015, the Senior Coroner for the Western Area of North Yorkshire, Mr Robert Turnbull concluded that John’s death was as a result of an industrial disease.

His family has now instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them secure answers regarding how much protection, if any, John was provided with while working with this deadly material. As part of their enquiries they are now appealing to his former work colleagues to come forward with information.

Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are particularly keen to hear from anyone who worked with John at a company called Leeds Asbestos Insulation during the mid-1960s.

As well as working in the Leeds area itself, it is thought John may have spent time working in South Wales whilst employed by this firm and may have been exposed to asbestos while working in Wales.

John may also have been exposed whilst working for Cape Insulation Limited around 1968/1969.

Mark Aldridge, an industrial disease expert at law firm Irwin Mitchell, who are representing John’s family, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive, incurable and ultimately terminal condition, which often does not reveal itself until 30 or 40 years after the person is exposed to asbestos. 

“As the cause of death was established after John had died, his family couldn't talk to him about his working life and therefore we need help from his colleagues to piece together John’s work history. 

“We would urge anyone who worked with John, either at Leeds Asbestos Insulation or Cape Insulation, to get in touch with us, as they might be able to provide vital information that may assist with our investigations so that we can achieve justice for his family.”

John’s sister, Denise Cowe, 65, said “My brother lived a simple life and I don’t really remember him getting ill, so his death came as a bolt out of the blue to us.

“It was terrible watching his health deteriorate so quickly and for the doctors to not know what the cause was.

“It was only after his death that we discovered the truth. Hopefully, his friends and colleagues will help us put together the pieces to find out how John was exposed to asbestos and the conditions he endured whilst at work.”

Anyone with any information about the working conditions at Leeds Asbestos Insulation or Cape Insulation Limited in the 1960s should contact Mark Aldridge at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 394 6757 or email Mark.Aldridge@IrwinMitchell.com.