Exposure Believed To Have Been When Washing Husband’s Overalls
The grandson of a retired clerical worker from Hull, who died from an asbestos-related cancer, has joined with specialist lawyers in appealing for information on how his grandmother developed the illness.
Hazel Foottit, from Cottingham in Hull, passed away aged 84 in August 2017 following a diagnosis of mesothelioma – a cancer commonly associated with exposure to asbestos decades previously.
An inquest held at Hull Coroner’s Court recorded a conclusion of death due to industrial disease.
Prior to her death, Hazel and her family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at national firm Irwin Mitchell to help them gain answers regarding how Hazel developed the illness and when exposure asbestos would have taken place. During clinical investigations, Hazel knew she hadn’t been exposed to asbestos but that her husband, Terrence Foottit, had most likely been exposed during his role as a hospital engineer whilst employed by Castle Hill Hospital between July 1973 and July 1979.
Terrence discussed with Hazel how he was responsible for site services and this meant that he frequently worked in ducts which had pipes lagged with asbestos. Terrence recalled working in the vicinity of fitters and plumbers removing asbestos lagging and undertaking repairs. Hazel remembered that she had always washed his work clothes when he returned home after carrying out this work and considered that was the only way that she could have been exposed to asbestos.
Sadly, Terrence died from ill health shortly after Hazel’s death and their grandson Joe Harrison was left to continue the fight.
Now, as part of their ongoing investigations, Hazel’s grandson and his lawyers are keen to speak to anyone who worked at Castle Hill Hospital between 1973 and 1979 as a heating engineer, pipefitter or plumber or in any position that would provide them with knowledge of Terrence’s working conditions.
Expert Opinion“This is sadly yet another example of the devastating consequences of asbestos exposure. Hazel was Terrence’s main carer and it was devastating for Terrence to lose her to such a deadly disease when he needed her the most.
Mesothelioma is a very devastating form of mesothelioma where the tumour forms on the lining of the abdomen. Hazel had great discomfort once the disease started to develop and was unable to eat as the disease progressed. She required in-patient care in hospital as Terrence was unable to look after her and they were both saddened that after over 50 years of marriage they were separated at this time.
Joe remains desperate for answers regarding how Terrence and consequently Hazel were both exposed to asbestos and if it could have been avoided. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to help us as we continue to examine Terrence’s work history.”
Nicola Handley - Senior Associate Solicitor
Joe said: “Sadly my grandmother’s life was cut short and I lost two grandparents in a very short time.
“It is still hard to believe that they are both gone and I miss them both greatly. I was very close to my grandparents as my mother passed away several years earlier. I only hope know to get the answers that we need in order to prove how my grandmother developed the devastating disease.
“I would appreciate any help or information from my grandfather’s former colleagues in order to assist us in finding out just how he became exposed to asbestos.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Nicola Handley at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office on 0113 220 6223 or email Nicola.Handley@irwinmitchell.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases