Father-Of-Four And Grandfather-Of-Eight Died Three Months After Mesothelioma Diagnosis
The family of a former Royal Mail worker are appealing for help in establishing whether his job at Liverpool’s former main sorting office caused his death from asbestos-related cancer.
Robert (Bob) Shaw died aged 67, three months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lung, the disease is commonly linked to asbestos exposure.
Prior to his death, the father-of-four and grandfather-of-eight instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his diagnosis.
Bob’s family are now taking on his quest for answers. Coinciding with World Cancer Day on 4 February, they are appealing for people who worked at Royal Mail’s former Copperas Hill sorting office to come forward with information about working conditions at the site near Lime Street station.
Bob, of Liverpool, was based at Copperas Hill between 1974 and 1987.
Expert Opinion“Bob’s death at a relatively young age for mesothelioma and so quickly after his diagnosis is another stark reminder of the terrible legacy asbestos has left behind.
While many people often associate the use of asbestos with heavy industry its use was widespread, including in many public buildings such as offices as well as schools and hospitals.
Understandably Bob’s death has had a profound impact on his family who have many concerns about how he was exposed to asbestos.
While nothing can make up for his death we’re determined to provide them with the answers they deserve.
As such we would be grateful to hear from anyone who worked at Copperas Hill or remembers working with Bob during his time at the sorting office. Any information could make all the difference."
Ian Toft - Partner
Bob, who was married to Gillian, 62, attended a routine GP appointment in October 2019. He was referred for further tests and was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2019. He died on 14 February, 2020.
Prior to his death Bob told his legal team how he recalled Copperas Hill was a large building with around five floors, while maintenance men would undertake jobs in rooms where he was based. He added that they would sometimes work above ceiling void spaces and take down sections of the ceiling during their activities.
Copperas Hill served as a sorting office from 1977 until it closed in October 2010 when the Royal Mail moved operations and 600 employees to Warrington. The building was later demolished.
Bob’s son David, 43, said: “It was heart-breaking to see how mesothelioma affected Dad in the final months of his life and it took hold of him very quickly.
“He only received his diagnosis in November 2019 but passed away in the following February. We were all devastated. He was the most hugely loved husband, father and grandfather and we think about him all the time.
“Dad was a devoted family man who loved spending as much time as he could with us all, in recent years with a growing number of grandchildren of whom he was incredibly proud. Outside family, his passion was Liverpool FC, having been a fan all of his life and a regular on The Kop for many years when he lived in Liverpool. Very sadly, he never got to see his team finally win the Premier League, which he would have loved. As we wanted to make sure he could also be remembered close to where he spent so much time over the years, as a tribute a photo of him is now a part of a mosaic at Anfield so he’s there for every home game.
“Before his diagnosis we hadn’t heard of mesothelioma but our family now know from personal experience how horrible it is.
“While nothing will bring dad back, we want to get the answers that he was pursuing regarding his illness until he was no longer able. We would be incredibly grateful to anyone who could come forward to share their knowledge or experience of Copperas Hill and any conditions that may have been a cause.”
Bob also leaves behind son, Andrew, 30, and daughters, Jennifer Geldart and Katie Shaw, aged 32 and 31.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 218 6453 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Cancer Day is an annual campaign on 4 February. Organised by the Union for International Cancer Control, it aims to raise awareness of the signs of cancer, reduce deaths and increase access to life-saving treatment.