Details Sought On Working Conditions Following Death From Mesothelioma
The family of a former fitter’s mate from Chesterfield are appealing for help following his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Brian Wood died aged 81. It was only after a post mortem examination that it was confirmed he had mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Following Brian’s death, his daughter Lynne Searson, aged 56 and son Kevin Wood, aged 58, instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their late dad’s illness and whether it could have been linked to his work history.
Ahead of Workers’ Memorial Day, Lynne, Kevin and their legal team are now seeking information from anyone who may have worked alongside Brian at Wagon Repairs Limited (known locally as Chatsworth Wagon Works) and also at The British Thomson Houston Company Limited.
Expert Opinion“Mesothelioma is a terrible disease and Brian’s loved ones remain devastated by his death, particularly Lynne and Kevin who are understandably still struggling to come to terms with losing their dad in the way they did and only finding out about his diagnosis following his death.
They also have a number of questions about how he could have been exposed to asbestos which led to him developing mesothelioma, the effects of which don’t usually come to light until several decades after initial contact has taken place.
We’re now investigating whether Brian’s exposure could have occurred during his work. We would therefore be grateful if anyone who worked alongside Brian could provide us with information on the working conditions he faced. Any detail, no matter how small, could be vital.”
Angela Davies - Solicitor
Brian worked for Wagon Repairs Limited at their site in Old Whittington from 1952/3 to 1972. Rail coaches were repaired there and it is believed his work included riveting. His work with The British Thomson Houston Company Limited began in 1974. He started as a general labourer and progressed on to general maintenance as a fitter’s mate. This role involved general maintenance in the fitting shop and looking after the machines, including the conveyor belts. He stayed there until the factory closed in 2003.
Brian began to feel unwell around February 2020. He was losing weight and started to experience confusion and memory loss. Brian also developed a rattle on his lung, and in March 2020 he was admitted to hospital where he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was discharged home where his condition deteriorated, and he died on 29 June that year.
Lynne said: “It’s coming up to two years since we lost dad and it’s still so painful at times to accept he’s not here anymore. He was such a loving, gentle dad and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his family.
“When he began to feel unwell, we thought it was maybe just a bad cold or a chest infection. Sadly he was taken from us shortly afterwards so it wasn’t until the post mortem results came back that we knew he had mesothelioma.
“To then be told that his work could be to blame was a huge shock to us. While nothing will make up for our loss or change what dad went through, we’re determined to find out where he could have been exposed to asbestos.
“We would therefore really appreciate if anyone could help us obtain the answers to help honour dad’s memory.”
Anyone with information about Wagon Repairs Limited and/or The British Thomson Houston Company Limited conditions can contact Angela Davies at Irwin Mitchell by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0114 274 4538.
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.