Devastated Children of Burnham-On-Sea Man Pay Tribute To Dad
The family of a Burnham-On-Sea man who died from asbestos-related cancer are calling for greater awareness of the dangers posed by the substance, after lawyers secured a settlement regarding his illness.
Roger Elderfield, 71, died from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following his diagnosis in May last year, Roger, who worked for Andrews Weatherfoil Ltd in Slough, instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came into contact with the material that went on to claim his life.
He died shortly after his legal team secured a settlement, following an admission from Andrews Weatherfoil Ltd in connection with his exposure. His children Mark Elderfield, 48, Kate Snell, 45, and Anna Steele, 40, will now receive the settlement.
Roger began working for Andrews Weatherfoil as an apprentice electrician in 1966 and was employed with the company until 1975.
His team was responsible for the electrical work during the process of completing large new buildings such as schools and office blocks. At the time, it was common to work in boiler rooms where the boilers were insulated with asbestos, and Roger also worked near to laggers mixing asbestos powder.
Mark, Kate and Anna now paying tribute to their dad and warning others of the risk posed by asbestos in the workplace.
Expert Opinion“Roger’s death is yet another reminder of the terrible legacy left behind by asbestos, with many people falling ill several decades after the initial exposure has occurred.
While many people associate asbestos with heavy industry it’s use was also widespread in many public buildings such as schools, hospitals and office blocks.
We successfully secured a settlement in Roger’s case remotely and quickly after he was diagnosed, but he sadly died shortly afterwards. We hope the answers, however, bring some comfort and closure in what has been a terrible ordeal for his family.
While nothing can bring Roger back, his children are keen to share his story as a fitting way to honour his memory. They also hope that speaking out on the dangers of asbestos will educate others on the risk posed by this silent killer in the workplace.”
Isabelle Selley - Senior Associate Solicitor
Prior to his diagnosis, Roger was fit and active, and was interested in golf and motorbikes.
He lived alone in Burnham-On-Sea, following the death of his wife, Sandra, from cancer two years earlier.
Roger’s son Mark said: “It has only been a few months since Dad’s death and we are all still struggling to come to terms with this. He was the centre of our family unit and always there for us. To lose Mum three years before and to see Dad’s condition deteriorate so rapidly was an awful experience. The COVID 19 lockdown also made the situation worse as we were unable to spend as much time as we would have liked with Dad, which was heart-breaking for us all.
“Whilst there is nothing we can do to change what happened, we are grateful that the settlement agreement took place before Dad passed, and he was in a capacity to acknowledge the answers he deserved. We hope that this story will remind people that asbestos is still very much a risk in the workplace that must never be ignored.”
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