Information Sought On Bury St Edmunds Man’s Work History
The widow of a former bricklayer from Bury St Edmunds who died from asbestos-related cancer has joined with legal experts to appeal for information from his old workmates regarding how he could have been exposed to the deadly material.
The plea is being made ahead of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday 28 April.
Frederick Whitehead fell ill towards the end of 2018. While his family initially thought it was related to his dementia, hospital tests revealed there was something suspicious on his lung. Shortly afterwards, he died of mesothelioma - a cancer of the lining of the lungs commonly linked to asbestos exposure decades previously. He was 86.
Following Frederick’s death, his family including wife Margaret instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and how he came to develop it.
Now, as part of their ongoing investigations, the legal experts are keen to gather information on whether Frederick may have been exposed to asbestos during his time working as a bricklayer for both Suffolk County Council from 1977 to 1981 and St Edmundsbury Borough Council between 1974 and 1988.
With this in mind, they are appealing for anyone with information regarding his work for the local authorities to come forward and help with their efforts.
Expert Opinion“Margaret and her family remain completely devastated by their loss and hold many questions around when Frederick may have ultimately come into contact with asbestos.
We are keen to get a clearer picture of the working conditions he would have faced while employed by these councils and would be grateful to anyone who could come forward and help us.
The details provided could prove key as we look to ensure his family get answers regarding his death.”
Rosemary Giles - Partner
Frederick’s family recall that he worked on council-owned farms during his time with Suffolk County Council, with the role meaning he would carry out repairs and maintenance at a range of sites.
Following that, he moved to St Edmundsbury Borough Council and worked on a range of housing, including projects to build new homes and also repair work on existing properties.
Frederick’s wife Margaret, 87, said: “It was terrible seeing how Frederick’s illness affected him in the final weeks of his life and the whole family is still trying to come to terms with losing him. He was a wonderful husband and father and we miss him so much.
“We have many questions regarding how he developed mesothelioma and would appreciate any help with gaining some answers. It would be great if anyone with information is able to come forward and help us.”
Frederick’s loved ones are making the appeal ahead of Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday, 28 April, a day to ‘remember the dead and to fight for the living’ by paying respects to those who have died as a result of their employment. The day campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and increase the protection in place for employees.
Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to contact Rosemary Giles at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office on 01223 791 810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.