Albert Wallin Died Just Over Six Months After Mesothelioma Diagnosis
The widow of a former painter and decorator is appealing for information about the working conditions at her husband’s former workplace after his death from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.
Hilarie Wallin lost her husband of 20 years, Albert Wallin, on June 16, 2015, aged 74, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2014.
She is speaking out on Action Mesothelioma Day in the hopes that Albert’s former colleagues will come forward to help her secure justice for her husband.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive, and terminal, form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, often decades before victims begin to suffer with symptoms. According to the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) more than 2,500 people in the UK lose their lives to the disease every year.
Albert, who has two adult sons, two step-daughters had previously lived in Spain with Hilarie from 2002, before returning to England in 2012. It was whilst he was still in Spain that he began to notice he was having issues with his breathing. Following tests, he was initially diagnosed with asbestosis, before further tests revealed it was mesothelioma.
Hilarie, 65 and lives in Tring, instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where Albert was exposed to the harmful dust and why more wasn’t done by his employers to protect him.
Her legal team believe that Albert was exposed to asbestos while working as a painter and decorator with Alick Whittle Ltd, between 1969 and 1975, and Dunbar Decorating, later known as Dundec Contracts Ltd, between 1975 and 2003. In particular, Albert recalled being exposed to asbestos when a ceiling collapsed at Maidstone library.
Action Mesothelioma Day aims to bring together victims of the disease, those who have loved ones affected by the disease, healthcare professionals, support groups and those working to understand the disease and find a cure, to ensure the public are aware of the terrible impact it can have on sufferers and their carers.
Mesothelioma is most commonly associated with heavy industry and the building trade and the vast majority of deaths from mesothelioma are in people over the age of 65. It is predicted that mesothelioma deaths will continue to rise every year before reaching a peak in about 2020.
Together, Hilarie and the lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are now appealing to Albert’s former colleagues at these two companies to come forward and help with their investigation as they may be able to shed further light on the working conditions that Albert endured.
Hilarie, who was a full-time carer for Albert after his diagnosis along with Albert’s step-daughters, Amy and Katy, said: “We are desperate to hear from anyone who could tell us more about the working environments that Albert would have worked in at Alick Whittle and Dundec.
“His illness was ongoing, undiagnosed for a number of years. Following his diagnosis, it was extremely difficult for him, and all of us, to come to terms with.
“We just want to know how he was exposed to asbestos and ensure any failures to protect him are identified.”
One detail that gives hope that Hilarie will get justice for Albert is that Irwin Mitchell have experience in mesothelioma cases involving former Alick Whittle workers. They are sure that Albert would have been exposed to asbestos there as he would have been required to paint pipework which was lagged in asbestos.
Expert Opinion“Hilarie and the family were left devastated by Albert’s death and they are desperate for answers about how and where he came into contact with the asbestos that caused him to develop mesothelioma.
“We know from our experience how heart-breaking it can be for the friends and family of those diagnosed with mesothelioma, and it has been no different for Hilarie and the rest of the family.
“We urgently want to speak to anyone who recalls working with Albert at Alick Whittle or Dundec Contracts, in the hope that the information they can provide will help Hilarie get the answers she wants.” Joanne Jefferies - Partner
Anyone with information about the working conditions at Alick Whittle or Dundec Contracts is asked to contact Tessa Craythrone at Irwin Mitchell on 0207 404 3600 or email Tessa.Craythorne@IrwinMitchell.com
Read more about the work of Irwin Mitchell's Asbestos Related Disease Team