Widow And Sons Supported By Asbestos-Related Disease Lawyers
The family of a former heating engineer are teaming up with Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust and national law firm Irwin Mitchell in raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos.
Dad-of-two Alan Taylor from Hoyland, Barnsley, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2017. A terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, pleural mesothelioma is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
Alan Taylor’s condition deteriorated and he sadly died five months later, aged 73.
Following Alan’s death, his widow Maureen, instructed asbestos-related disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how her husband was exposed to the hazardous material that claimed his life.
The family’s legal team went on to secure a settlement after it was found that Alan’s asbestos exposure occurred during his employment at stately home Wentworth Woodhouse, which was run by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council at the time.
Alan’s family are now marking Action Mesothelioma Day on 1 July, to warn of the dangers of asbestos. In addition, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust will be taking part in ‘Go Blue For 22’, a national campaign where landmarks are lit up blue to raise awareness of mesothelioma. More than 50 landmark buildings across the UK will be lit up on Friday.
Expert Opinion“It’s five years since Alan sadly died and understandably, his family still find it difficult to come to terms with their loss.
His death is yet another reminder of the terrible legacy left behind by asbestos. While many people associate asbestos with heavy industry, factories and power stations, its use was widespread in many public buildings such as schools and hospitals and even stately homes such as Wentworth Woodhouse, not to mention Buckingham Palace and Sandringham.
No amount of money can ever compensate for the loss of Alan or what his family have been through; nevertheless, our goal is to aid those who have greatly suffered and we’re pleased to have helped secure them a settlement.
Action Mesothelioma Day is an opportunity to emphasise the dangers still posed by asbestos. Staggeringly, in the UK there are approximately 5,000 deaths a year from asbestos related diseases and we join Alan’s family and Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust in marking this vital campaign.”
Simon Webb - Associate Solicitor
Alan worked at Wentworth Woodhouse from 1988 to his retirement around 2000. He was employed as a maintenance man and heating engineer, and spent some of his day in the boiler house. Alan’s sons Paul, 51, and Mark, 54, also worked at Wentworth Woodhouse for a time; Mark recalled that at the time the boilers and associated pipework were insulated with asbestos.
Mark told the legal experts that, ‘dust was always hanging in the air’ in the boiler house and he believed some of it to be asbestos dust from deteriorated pipes and insulation.
Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, which took over the running of the landmark in 2017 and was not responsible for Alan’s exposure, has since confirmed that it has had all asbestos removed from the boiler house.
Sadly however, this was too late for Alan who began to feel unwell in October 2016. He complained of feeling breathless and tired, and was struggling with his daily walks.
He visited his GP the following month after developing a cough and was administered antibiotics. These didn’t help and his condition worsened. He was referred to hospital for a chest x-ray and, following further visits to his GP, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma on 5 January 2017 and sadly died on 12 June 2017.
Prior to his death, Alan had been married to Maureen for 50 years.
Maureen said: “Alan was always fit and active, and enjoyed going on long walks every day. When he started becoming breathless and having to sit down more and take breaks, I knew something wasn’t quite right.
“However, nothing would have prepared us for his diagnosis. We were both shocked and devastated. Mesothelioma was something we didn’t know much about, so to be told Alan had it was incredibly difficult to come to terms with.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to accept he’s no longer here with me. Our home doesn’t feel the same anymore,
“The past few years have been tough, and I wouldn’t have got through it without the support I’ve had from everyone. All I hope for now is that by sharing my story it makes others aware of the risks of asbestos. I join my legal team at Irwin Mitchell and Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust in marking Action Mesothelioma Day.”
Sarah McLeod, CEO of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Action Mesothelioma Day, by lighting the House blue, to help raise awareness of mesothelioma and the challenges people with asbestos-related illnesses face each day.”
Held every year, Action Mesothelioma Day brings together victims of the disease, those who have loved ones affected, healthcare professionals, support groups and those working to understand mesothelioma and find a cure. The day aims to ensure the public are also aware of the terrible impact mesothelioma can have on sufferers and their carers.