Former Birmingham City Council Worker Appeals To Former Colleagues After Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Specialist Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Instructed To Investigate


A former Birmingham City Council worker diagnosed with an asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former colleagues for help as he vows to secure justice for his diagnosis.

Robert Chetwynd, also known as Bob, began suffering with breathlessness in May last year and doctors confirmed a couple of months later that he was suffering from mesothelioma, which is a cancer affecting the linings of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

The 67-year-old worked at premises owned by Birmingham City Council at Cedar House, on 21 William Street, in the city, from 1986 to 2006. He was employed to carry out programming and design work for the Council and at various times during that period his employment was outsourced to various companies including Knight Programming Support Limited & IT Net who were part of Cadbury Limited.

The father-of-two and grandfather-of-two instructed specialist industrial illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions at Cedar House in Birmingham. Now the law firm is appealing to his former work colleagues to come forward with any information about the health and safety practices and the presence of asbestos in the buildings.

Asbestos was identified in the building in the early 1990s when contractors came in to tidy up an area which had become an empty store room. New cabling was installed once the area had been cleared which involved breaking into the walls, ceilings and floors.

The contractors worked in close proximity to Bob and asbestos was found within this section. Bob had been working in this part of the building for 18 months before the asbestos was removed. The office air conditions system would often blow dust around the working area.

Expert Opinion
“Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which has a significant impact on the life of those affected by it.

“The inhalation of asbestos fibres can lead to severe health consequences. Bob’s case highlights the risks being present, not only in a factory or industrial environment but also in an office environment, where inadequate measures were put in place to prevent asbestos from circulating in the work area.

“We hope to speak to any of Bob’s former colleagues or those who worked as contractors at Cedar House who may hold vital information about the presence of asbestos and the working conditions in this building.”
Hayley Hill, Associate

Bob, from Nuneaton, said: “I was a fit man in good health prior to this illness. I have undergone numerous investigations and treatment since my symptoms developed, some of which have been very invasive, including a biopsy and radiotherapy.

“I have a lot of support from my wife and the family; we are all extremely frustrated that this could have been avoided if the correct safety measures were in place.

“I would like to encourage anyone who worked at Cedar House, William Street, in Birmingham between 1986 and 2006 to get in touch with any information including employees and contractors who may have worked in the building over the years.”

If you have any information about the working conditions at Cedar House, please contact Hayley Hill at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 5274 or email

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.