Wickford Woman Who Worked At Canning Town Dock Dies Weeks After Being Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
A family has launched an appeal for answers to establish how a shipyard office worker died just weeks after she was diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer.
Mum-of-two Kim James died aged 61 in February 2019, just weeks after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of terminal cancer linked to exposure to asbestos often decades earlier.
At the time of Kim’s death, her daughter Nichola was expecting a child, meaning Kim never got to meet her grandchild.
Following the death of Kim, of Wickford, Essex, her family including childhood sweetheart and husband, Paul, instructed expert asbestos-related lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how she may have been exposed to the hazardous material.
The family is now marking Action Mesothelioma Day by appealing to former workmates of Kim’s at Green & Silley Weir dry dock in Canning Town, London, to come forward with information about working conditions at the site.
Expert Opinion“Sadly, through our work we see many people, like Kim, who are totally unaware until their diagnosis that they have been exposed to asbestos.
“Kim’s death especially so soon after her diagnosis and at a young age compared to most sufferers of mesothelioma has come as a huge shock for Paul and the rest of the family.
“Their pain is made even worse by the fact the Kim never got to meet her new grandchild before her death.
“Our investigations into how she was exposed to asbestos are continuing, but we believe her exposure could have occurred around the time she worked at Green and Silley. Therefore, we would be grateful for anyone who worked at the dock around the same time as Kim to come forward and help Kim’s family obtain the answers they deserve.” Natalia Rushworth-White - Associate Solicitor
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Kim and Paul met at school when they were 13 and married in October 1978. The couple, had two children Nichola and Michelle, who both have children of their own.
After Kim left school in 1973 she started working as a clerical assistant at Green and Silley Weir leaving when the dock closed in the mid-1970s
As part of their investigations the family’s legal team at Irwin Mitchell is investigating whether Kim may have been exposed to asbestos dust released from pipes on board ships that were lagged with the material and which were disturbed during re-fits.
After leaving the company the family moved to Wickford in the late 1980s.
Paul said: “Kim was my best friend and soulmate. She was the most loving and caring wife and mum anyone could want.
“We hadn’t even started to come to terms with her diagnosis when she died. It still does not seem real how quickly she was taken from us and we remain devastated how we feel we didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to her properly and that she never got to see her new grandchild.
“We still had so many plans for the future and it is difficult to think that we will never get the fulfil these.
“All we can hope for now is that we can at least honour her memory by finding out what caused the cancer that took her life.
“We would be grateful if anyone with any piece of information about Green and Silley came forward.”
Anyone with information should contact Natalia Rushworth-White at Irwin Mitchell on 0207 421 3900 or natalia.rushworthwhite@IrwinMitchell.com
Action Mesothelioma Day is 5 July and campaigns to raise awareness of the incurable disease, remember those affected by it and help fund research into finding a cure.