Former Draughtsman And Teacher Died From Mesothelioma
The family of a father-of-three from Leyland who died from asbestos-related cancer are appealing for help to establish how he was exposed to the hazardous substance.
Peter Wood was diagnosed with mesothelioma last 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 was very poorly by the time he became aware of his diagnosis and died shortly afterwards at the age of 86.
Following his death, Peter’s family continued the investigation alongside his legal team. They are now appealing to Peter’s former workmates for help to determine how he came into contact with asbestos.
In particular, information is being sought on the working conditions faced by Peter when he worked for Leyland Motors Limited and Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council at Sunninghill School as he was too unwell to recall them in detail.
Expert Opinion“Peter’s family remain devastated by his death and have a number of questions as to how he was exposed to asbestos.
As part of our investigation, we are looking at whether his exposure could have occurred during his time employed by either of these two companies. Therefore we would be grateful to hear from anyone that may have information on the working conditions Peter would have faced.
We are determined to provide Peter’s family with the answers they deserve; any detail could prove vital.”
Katrina London - Senior Associate Solicitor
Peter worked for Leyland Motors Limited between 1949 and 1965. He was an apprentice turner based at the Farington site where the company manufactured trucks and buses.
During his apprenticeship, Peter used lathes to make various parts for vans, including brake drums, chassis and wheels. He told his lawyers that there was a lot of pipework at the factory, which provided heating and power to the machines and equipment.
In 1952, Peter moved to the jig and tool section of the drawing office where he worked as a draughtsman. He was based in an office but was often required on the factory floor to help maintain the machines he had designed.
Peter returned to his position of a draughtsman at Leyland Motors Limited in 1956, after his spell of National Service, and remained in that role for almost a decade.
In 1965, Peter returned to college and studied to become a teacher. Four years later, he secured a job as a technical drawing teacher with Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council. He was based at Sunninghill School, an old Victorian building which he thought contained a lot of lagged pipework.
From 1971 to 1990, Peter worked at Hayward High School as head of technical drawing. His classroom was fitted with cast iron pipes and a built-in radiator. He told his legal team he would regularly pin his pupils drawings on to the boards on the walls on a weekly basis.
Peter began to feel unwell in October 2018, with a bad cough and chest infection. Following a series of tests including x-rays and a biopsy, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2019. His condition deteriorated and sadly he passed away on 3 June 2019 .
Peter was married to wife Rita for 63 years and they had three children, Mandy, Ian and Christine.
Rita said: “I am still struggling to come to terms with losing Peter, every day is so difficult without him here.
“We were devastated when Peter was told he had mesothelioma, and it was heartbreaking to see how the illness affected him. Towards the end of his life, he was sleeping most of the time and was hardly eating or drinking. I did everything I could for him. It was so sad to see how he missed doing all the things he previously enjoyed, like gardening, walking the dog and caravanning throughout the summer.
“To find out that Peter’s work may have been to blame for his exposure to asbestos was a shock and we have so many questions that need answering.
“We know that at least two men who were apprentices at the same time as Peter at Leyland Motors also died from mesothelioma.
“If anyone that worked with my husband has any information that could help us, I would really appreciate them coming forward. Whilst we can’t do anything to change what happened, I want to honour his memory by getting the answers he sought before he died.”
Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to contact Katrina London on 0161 838 7262 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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