Details Sought On British Rail And Waveney District Council
The family of a former British Rail blacksmith who died from asbestos-related cancer are making a plea for information to help establish how he fell ill with the disease that claimed his life.
William Botson, from Lowestoft in Suffolk, died in August 2019 at the age of 82. A post mortem revealed he had been suffering from lung cancer and asbestosis, which is a long-term inflammation and scarring of the lungs due to breathing in asbestos fibres.
Following William’s death, his family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and how he could have been exposed to the hazardous substance.
The legal team is now appealing to William’s former colleagues at British Rail and Waveney District Council for information on the working conditions he faced and whether his exposure took place here.
Expert Opinion“William’s family are understandably still struggling to come to terms with losing him in such an awful way.
Asbestos poses many dangers to workers that come into contact with it, with the effects often coming to light several decades afterwards. Through our work, we come across many families destroyed because of asbestos, including many with loved ones who worked for British Rail in the past.
William passed away before finding out what caused his illness, and his family are desperate to get the answers he sadly did not. We are therefore keen to hear from anyone that was employed alongside him and can offer details on the environment he worked in.
Any information, no matter how small, could prove vital in our investigation.”
Samantha Shaw - Senior Associate
William was employed by British Rail from 1961 to 1975, and then again from 1981 to 1996. He worked as a blacksmith and welder at the depot in Norwich.
Between 1976 and 1981, he worked a brief stint with Waveney District Council as a welder/blacksmith.
Sadly, he passed away on August 2019.
Following William’s death, a post mortem was carried out. Acute bronchopneumonia was confirmed, due to non-small cell lung cancer and asbestosis.
William’s son-in-law Andrew Armes said: “A year on from losing him, we are still devastated.
“When he first started complaining of feeling ill, we didn’t think it would turn out the way it has. It was horrible to see him deteriorate so quickly.
“To find out that it was most likely a result of asbestos exposure during his working years was a shock and we need to know where it took place. While nothing will bring him back, all we can hope for now is the answers that he deserved before he died.
“We would be grateful to anyone that could come forward with details that might help.”
Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to telephone Samantha Shaw on 01223 791815 or e-mail Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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