Details Sought On Working Conditions At London Quadrant
The widow of a London man who died from asbestos-related cancer is appealing to his former colleagues to help establish how he was exposed to the substance that claimed his life.
Michael Samworth, from Elephant and Castle, London was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April, 2019. He suffered with symptoms for nine months, before he died aged 72 in December 2019.
An inquest at coroner’s court ruled the painter and decorator’s death was caused by mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung linked to asbestos exposure, often decades previously.
Following Michael’s death, his widow Jeanette Samworth, 61, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness.
Jeanette has now joined her lawyers in appealing for Michael’s former workmates to come forward, in the hope they can provide information on the working conditions he would have faced during his career. The family’s legal team is interested in hearing from people with information about working conditions Michael faced while employed by London Quadrant, now known as L&Q in the 1960s.
Lacey St James, the asbestos-related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell, supporting Jeanette, said: “Jeanette remains understandably devastated by Michael’s death and is still struggling to come to terms with her loss.
“While the inquest has answered some the of the family’s questions, they still have a number of concerns as to how and why Michael was exposed to the hazardous asbestos that claimed his life.
“Michael’s death is another stark reminder of the devastating legacy that asbestos has created with many contracting life-limiting diseases years after their exposure.
“While nothing can make up for what has happened any information about the conditions Michael faced could prove vital in providing Jeanette and the rest of her family with the closure they deserve.”
Born in 1947 in Elephant and Castle, Michael grew up in New Cross, south east London, where his father George Samworth worked as a jeweller and his mother Lucy was employed as a post lady for the Ministry of Defence. Michael later lived in Greenwich for some years.
Michael married Jeanette on 6 December 2019 shortly before he passed away, but they were together for 21 years. They had no children together.
On leaving school when he was 15 in 1963, Michael carried out painting and decorating work for London Quadrant, also known as L & Q. He worked for the company for approximately 5 to 6 years.
Speaking about her husband’s death, his widow Jeanette Samworth, said: “Losing Michael in this way was a terrible blow and I miss him every day. The last few months in lockdown have been so hard without him.
“He suffered with symptoms of what we now know were mesothelioma for about a year before he died and to see him suffer was terrible. He was a strong man and fought the disease as long as he could. He endured three sessions of chemotherapy until he was no longer able to continue.
“I know little of Michael’s work history and he could only tell me bits before he passed away, so if anyone remembers working with Michael and can help us fill in the blanks, it would really mean a lot to me. There is no one else I can turn to and ask so I hope this will jog someone’s memory.”
If anyone has any information that can help Jeanette, they are asked to contact Lacey St James at Irwin Mitchell’s London office or email Lacey.StJames@IrwinMitchell.com