Information Sought On John Summers Steelworks And Merchant Navy
The family of a Rhyl man who died from asbestos cancer are making a heartfelt plea for information to help establish how he came into contact with the hazardous substance.
John Edwin Jones was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June 2018. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously. He died two months later.
John’s family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where his exposure could have occurred. Sadly he had advanced dementia at the time of his diagnosis and was not able to provide any information about his asbestos exposure.
The family have now joined with the legal team in appealing to John’s former colleagues for details on the working conditions he would have faced. In particular, they are looking for information from anyone who worked with John when he was employed by John Summers/British Steel at Shotton Steelworks and when he served in the Merchant Navy serving on P & O and Blue Star Line vessels.
Expert Opinion“Through our work, we sadly see many people who have lost loved ones following exposure to asbestos. The symptoms often only become apparent several decades after the initial contact has occurred, and sadly John’s dementia was so advanced when he was diagnosed that he was not able to recall his exposure.
His family are now appealing to anyone who remembers working with John for these two employers and recalls the conditions they worked in.
Any detail, no matter how small, could prove vital in the investigation.”
Katrina London - Senior Associate Solicitor
John was diagnosed with vascular dementia in October 2016. In early 2018, he began to suffer from a series of chest infections. He developed a bad cough and was complaining of feeling cold.
By his birthday that June, John could not get out of bed. He was admitted to hospital, where he underwent a series of tests including a lung drain and biopsy. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
John’s dementia worsened following his diagnosis and he was moved into a care home later that month.
His condition deteriorated, both physically and mentally, and he died on 24 August the same year.
John had two children, a daughter Joy and son Martyn. He was employed by John Summers, later British Steel, at Shotton as a fitter/chargehand from about 1957 - 1975. He worked on pumps, compressors, hydraulics and other engineering works. Prior to his death, he told Martyn that there was “a lot of lagging” when he worked there.
He worked in the Merchant Navy on P & O vessels from 1952 to 1956 and said there had been asbestos in the engine room, he described as being “up to my eyes in it.”
John’s daughter Joy said: “Martyn and I knew things were bad when dad couldn’t get out of bed on his birthday. The doctor had been seeing dad at home so we called for another home visit as we were so worried about him.
“After he was admitted to hospital, we were advised he had terminal cancer, which was a huge shock to us. He initially went back home after he was discharged, but he deteriorated so quickly. He began using a wheelchair and his dementia was also getting worse.
“He lost a lot of weight between March and June, hardly eating anything in the last few weeks of his life. It was terribly upsetting for Martyn and I to see him like that.
“He died soon afterwards, before we could find out where he had been exposed to asbestos but we are determined to continue the investigation and get the answers he deserved.
“We would be grateful if anyone who worked with dad would come forward with any information that may help us.”
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.