Birstall Dad-Of-Two Died Two Months After Mesothelioma Diagnosis
The devastated family of a draughtsman are appealing to his former colleagues for help in establishing how he was exposed to the asbestos that killed him.
Peter Hill, originally from Armley, was diagnosed with mesothelioma earlier this year. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following his diagnosis, he instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and whether his work could have been to blame for his asbestos exposure.
Peter died in April aged 79. An inquest concluded he died as the result of an industrial disease.
Peter’s family, including son Martin, are now continuing with the investigation alongside Peter’s legal team. They are making a plea to his former workmates for information to help determine how he came into contact with asbestos.
In particular, details are being sought on the working environment Peter experienced whilst working at Hunslet-based Samuel Dennison and Son Ltd, which later became Avery Dennison, and also the working environment at when he was employed by Dexion Autoflow Systems Limited who were located across the country and involved Peter working at various factories and sites across Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland.
Expert Opinion“It’s less than a year since Peter’s death, which continues to have a profound effect on his family.
Mesothelioma is a terrible disease which often only becomes apparent decades after initial contact with asbestos has occurred. While we can’t change what has happened to Peter, we’re determined to honour his memory by helping his family get the answers they desperately want. They deserve to know where he was exposed to asbestos.
If anyone worked alongside Peter for either of these two companies and has information on the working conditions that he would have experienced, we would be grateful to hear from them. Any detail could be vital in our investigation.”
Nicola Handley - Associate Solicitor
Peter worked for Samuel Dennison and Son Limited between 1957 and 1964, initially as an apprentice before qualifying as a draughtsman.
The company built machines for testing that went all over the world and they were based on Moor Road, Hunslet, Leeds. Before his death, Peter recalled working with a machine that contained asbestos and being exposed to dust due to the manufacturing process of the machine.
Between 1971 and 1982, Peter was employed by Dexion Autoflow Limited as a technical salesman. Around 1972/73, Peter worked at the George Moor factory and before his death, he told his legal team that there was a lot of construction work going on here and the conditions were very dusty and dirty. He believed there may have been asbestos present.
He also recalled helping to install a conveyor system at the George Moor Thorp Arch site and exposure to asbestos may have occurred at other sites Peter worked at.
Peter began to feel unwell in Summer 2019 with symptoms of breathlessness. Following a series of tests, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February this year.
His condition deteriorated and he died on 21 April.
At the time of his death, Peter had been married to wife Anne for 56 years. They had two sons, Christopher, 54, and Martin, 52, and six grandchildren.
Martin said: “It’s been just over seven months since we lost Dad and it’s still incredibly difficult to accept he’s no longer here.
“Before his illness, he enjoyed walking, bowling and singing in a choir. He also enjoyed gardening and spending time with his family. After his diagnosis, his health went downhill so quickly and it was horrible to know there was nothing we could do.
“When we first found out dad’s cancer was as a result of asbestos exposure, we were devastated. We’re now determined to find out where it could have happened so we can honour his memory and get the answers he began looking for before he died.
“Dad explained to us the conditions that he had worked in and how exposure to asbestos may have arose and we would be grateful if anyone with information on this could come forward and help with the investigation. The smallest detail could prove vital.”
Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to contact Nicola Handley on 07711 345400 or by e-mail at Nicola.firstname.lastname@example.org
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