Expert Comments After Concerns Are Raised Over Cases In York
A well-known campaigner has claimed that at least 140 former York Carriageworks employees and their relatives have now been killed by the asbestos-related illness, with fears emerging that the number will increase over the coming years.
Paul Cooper spoke out recently following a number of deaths from the disease, mesothelioma. Following the recent funeral of Arnie “Tivvy” Gomersall, the Rev Matt Woodcock, claimed that it had been “scandalous” that factory employees were exposed to deadly asbestos dust over decades.
Mr Cooper, who was a trade union official at the Carriageworks in Holgate Road, has kept records of deaths as he often helped the victims and their families. He told York Press his estimate of 141 deaths, which included 59 coachbuilders, was not the full story, as it related only to cases of people who had died from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma and whose deaths had been investigated by inquests in York.
Ian Bailey, a partner and specialist asbestos disease lawyer based at the Leeds office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell said, “This huge number of deaths from asbestos disease arising from exposure to asbestos at the York Carriageworks is an unfolding catastrophe that we have been aware of for many years. It is a tragedy for many individuals and their families in the York area, but it is also a tragedy which could have been avoided.”
“Over the last 15 years I have been acting for victims of mesothelioma from York. Recently, we represented three families at inquests on the same day in York, all of whom had been affected by asbestos disease.
“What we must ensure, in the face of the deep cuts being implemented by the coalition government, that the rights of those affected and who are dying as a result of the acts of negligent employers are protected in the future.”
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