Family Join Lawyers In Appealing for Workers At Nico Construction And British Rail To Come Forward
The ‘devastated’ daughters of an ex-foreman are appealing to their dad’s former colleagues for help in discovering how was exposed to the asbestos that claimed his life.
Robert Beeson, from Waltham Forest, died a month after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
The 82-year-old’s family, led by his daughter Lorraine Whitney, 59, have instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where their dad’s exposure to asbestos occurred.
Lorraine has now joined with the legal team to appeal for any of Robert’s former workmates to come forward with information on the working conditions her Dad would have faced during his career.
The team is particularly keen to trace anyone who worked with Robert while he was a foreman at Nico Construction, based in London from 1986 until 1992 and during his time working for British Rail from based at Stratford in East London between 1961 and 1974.
Expert Opinion“Lorraine and her sister, Michelle are understandably devastated by their Dad’s death which they’re still trying to come to terms with.
“What has been particularly hard for the family is the speed at which Robert’s illness progressed following his diagnosis. Before his death Robert told his family that he believed he may have encountered asbestos during his 20 years at Nico Construction and while employed by British Rail.
“Robert’s death is another terrible reminder of the cruel legacy that asbestos has left behind. While nothing can bring him back, we’re determined to support Lorraine and Michelle as they seek the answers their dad wanted.
“If any of Robert’s former colleagues could come forward with information, it could make all the difference. Any detail, no matter how small could prove vital to our investigation.” Lacey St James - Associate Solicitor
Born in Waltham Forest in 1938, Robert was a widower following the death of his wife, Monica Beeson aged 62 from breast cancer 18-years-ago. The couple had two daughters and two grandchildren, Evie and Ellie.
From 1986 until 1992, he worked for Nico Construction and was based in and around the city of London.
As a foreman, Robert worked alongside men who were engaged in false and suspended ceiling work, pulling down old ceilings in order to put up new ones. Prior to his role at Nico Construction, Robert worked for British Rail, from 1961 until 1974, where part of his role involved the loading and unloading of carriages.
Robert had a love of nature, he kept and bred birds for most of his life. Due to his breeding successes, he became recognised as one of the most knowledgeable people in the bird world community. He judged a number of bird shows around the country and people would ask for his advice on all sorts of matters relating to keeping and breeding birds.
Robert had always been a fit man but in early 2020, he started to notice getting increasingly short of breath but the Covid-19 lockdown delayed any further investigation.
By early 2021, Robert’s condition continued to deteriorate, as his breathing became worse and his weight dropped to just six stone. On being admitted to hospital in February, fluid was drained from his lungs and he was given the devastating diagnosis of mesothelioma at the end of March.
Lorraine and Michelle were giving their dad 24 hour care at this stage, but as his condition worsened, he died on 4 April, with his family by his side.
Speaking on behalf of the family, Lorraine said: “Seeing dad deteriorate in this way was a devastating experience for me and Michelle.
“We hadn’t heard of mesothelioma prior to the diagnosis but we knew what cancer meant given what happened to mum. We did what we could for dad, despite lockdown but he was in good health prior to the start of symptoms and didn’t deserve to lose his life in this way.
“What makes his death harder to accept is the speed at which his condition deteriorated. Because of this we feel we were robbed of spending more precious time together as a family and didn’t get to say goodbye properly to Dad.
“Dad didn’t have much time to tell us details about his work history, but he felt sure he encountered asbestos.
“If any of dad’s former workmates or people who worked at the same places could come forward and help us, it would mean a lot to me and my sister.
“It won’t bring Dad back but at least it will help us honour his memory by finding out the answers he deserved."
Anyone with information that may assist with this case is asked to contact Lacey St James at Irwin Mitchell on 0203 040 3445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org