Appeal For Information After Mesothelioma Cancer Death
The family of a Norfolk carpenter are appealing for help in establishing how he was exposed to the asbestos that claimed his life.
Fred Lucas, from King’s Lynn, died aged 81, just two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The cancer of the lining of the lung is commonly linked with exposure to asbestos materials.
Before he died, Fred, from King’s Lynn, instructed asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came to develop the illness.
Fred’s family, including his wife Wendy, 77, are now taking on his quest for answers in his memory. They and their legal team are marking Workers’ Memorial Day by appealing to Fred’s ex-workmates to come forward with information about the conditions he faced during his career.
They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who worked for the construction company Walter Lawrence & Son Ltd, where Fred undertook an apprenticeship in carpentry in the 1950s.
Fred returned to this company after completing his National Service in the early 1960s, and then moved onto Laughton & Fuller Ltd between the tax years 1963/64 and 1965/66. Here, he worked on the construction of new build houses and asbestos was a commonly used building material at the time. Later, Fred worked as a carpenter at the Bernard Matthews site at Great Witchingham as again, asbestos materials were often used in farm buildings.
Expert Opinion“This is sadly yet another devastating case that highlights the huge impact that asbestos exposure can have, often many years after exposure has taken place.
“Fred’s family remain devastated by their loss and understandably have a number of concerned about how he came into contact with the asbestos that claimed his life.
“While nothing can make up for the family’s pain we’re determined to provide them with the answers they deserve. As a result Fred’s loved ones would be extremely grateful to those who can come forward with information about the conditions he faced.” Natalia Rushworth-White - Associate Solicitor
Fred, a dad of two and grandfather of two, left school in the mid-1950s and took up a carpentry apprenticeship with Walter Lawrence & Son. It is thought that he may have encountered asbestos at this time by cutting sheeting for use in housing projects.
He then went on to be a carpenter for Laughton & Fuller, John Laing, WM Sindall and RG Carter and it is thought that he worked on domestic housing estates. Fred subsequently moved to Bernard Matthews, where he worked in maintenance carpentry.
Fred became unwell in early 2021. Tests and scans revealed that he had fluid on the lung and he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in February 2021. His condition deteriorated rapidly and he died on 18 April 2021.
Fred’s wife Wendy said: “Fred was a wonderful husband who was never happier than when spending time with his family or enjoying his hobbies of bee keeping and vintage motor bikes.
“Losing Fred was incredibly difficult and the entire family still miss him so much. It’s about a year now since Fred died but time has stood still for our family. We still have so many unanswered questions as to how Fred contracted mesothelioma. Before his diagnosis we hadn’t heard of it but we now know how terrible a disease it is.
“We’d be incredibly grateful if anyone could come forward and provide details. It could make a major difference and ensure that we get the answers that Fred deserved.”
Anyone with information on these companies is asked to contact Natalia Rushworth-White at Irwin Mitchell on 01223 791810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Workers’ Memorial Day is held on 28 April to remember those who have died as a result of their employment, and campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace and increase protection for employees.