Devastated Widow Of Former Lowestoft Carpenter Appeals For Help After His Mesothelioma Death

Irwin Mitchell Asbestos-Related Disease Experts Investigating Asbestos Exposure


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

The devastated widow of a carpenter who died after a short battle with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure decades ago, is appealing to those who worked with her husband to come forward and help with an investigation into his illness.

Robert Riches, from Lowestoft, Suffolk died in June 2015 at the age of 68, after a six-month battle with the disease.

Now, his devastated widow Wendy, is appealing to Robert’s former colleagues at RG Carter in Drayton, where he worked from 1975 until 1980 approximately, as she believes her late husband worked closely with asbestos at the company.

She has instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his exposure to asbestos as they seek justice for his death.

During his time at the company Robert undertook a number of jobs at the James Paget Hospital, where his role required him to fit asbestos boards as heat protectors to radiators.

Robert used a hand drill to fit and secure the asbestos boards, which led to asbestos dust and fibres being released into the working atmosphere.

His role also included loading and handling asbestos boards. Speaking to family members before his death Robert did not recall being provided with any protective clothing or breathing protection while working for RG Carter.

Wendy, who was married to Robert for 46 years, is hoping to get answers about why more was not done to protect Robert and his colleagues from the risks associated with asbestos exposure.

Rosemary Giles, a Partner and expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Wendy, said:

Expert Opinion
“The risks of asbestos were known since at least the 1930s yet all too often we see instances where companies have failed to protect their workers from inhaling the deadly substance.

“Asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, can cause a significant amount of pain and distress for victims, like Robert, as well as their family who often see their loved ones deteriorate very quickly.

“Wendy understandably wants to know how Robert was exposed to asbestos and if more could and should have been done to protect him. We hope anyone who worked with him at RG Carter in Drayton will come forward and help us provide answers for Wendy.”
Rosemary Giles, Partner

Wendy said: “Robert’s death has had a huge impact on our family and we are still coming to terms with losing him. To find out that his mesothelioma may have been caused by his job, which helped him provide for our family, was absolutely devastating.

“He was always a fit and active man and we bought a new house just before he was diagnosed with mesothelioma that we were planning to fix up and spend our retirement in. Sadly, Robert never got the chance to complete the work he wanted to do because his illness hit him so hard.

“We want answers about why he wasn’t better protected at work and hope that his former colleagues will come forward with any information they have about the protection Robert was given and if any warnings were in place about the dangers this terrible substance poses.”

Anyone who worked with Robert or with information on working conditions at RG Carter, particularly during the building of the James Paget Hospital should contact Rosemary Giles on 01223 791 810 or email