Information Sought On Ceiling Fitters In The Early 1980s
The family of a former West Bromwich ceiling fitter are appealing for help to establish how he contracted the asbestos-related cancer which claimed his life.
Robert Calderwood Spence (known as Robbie), who grew up in Scotland, died only months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung commonly associated with exposure to asbestos, often decades previously.
In light of the 73 year old’s death, his daughter, Janet Spence, 55, instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how Robbie developed the illness.
Janet has now joined the legal team in appealing for anyone who worked with Robbie to come forward and provide information on whether he may have been exposed to asbestos during his working life.
They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who worked alongside Robbie in the suspended ceiling trade in the West Bromwich area in the 1980s, and when Robbie worked in the building trade in the late 1960s for the companies George Stubbings, C Bryant and Sons and Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co.
Expert Opinion“This is sadly another case which puts the spotlight on the devastating impact of asbestos exposure, with the true consequences only becoming clear years after contact has taken place.
“Through our initial investigations, we are led to believe that Robbie may have been exposed to asbestos working for companies fitting suspended ceilings in the West Midlands. Robbie recalled removing old ceilings, before fitting new ones, at local companies including Cadburys, Rover and Joseph Lucas amongst many other places.
“Robbie also worked in the building trade in the 1960s for large West Midlands-based companies including George Stubbings, C Bryant and Sons and Sir Lindsay Parkinson & Co.
“In Robbie’s case, we now require more information to progress the investigation further and we are determined to support Janet as she seeks the answers to Robbie’s asbestos exposure in his memory. Janet would be so grateful if anyone with information that could help could come forward. Any detail, no matter how small could prove vital in ensuring Janet gets the answers she deserves as she comes to terms with the loss of her father.” Iain Shoolbred, Senior Associate Solicitor
Robbie was diagnosed with mesothelioma in November 2019 and sadly died on 16 January 2020. Robbie began showing symptoms of shortness of breath in earlier in the year and through a CT guided biopsy it was confirmed he had mesothelioma in November 2019.
After the diagnosis Robbie’s symptoms of shortness of breath continued to worsen and he started to display chest pain and a fever, leading to a hospital admission and Robbie sadly passed away only months after his initial diagnosis.
Outside of work before the developing symptoms, Robbie was a keen golfer, enjoyed meeting his friends at the local pub and enjoyed doing things for his family.
Speaking about her father and the appeal, Janet Spence said: “Dad was a sociable and witty character. He was very generous with a broad Scottish accent. Despite the time that has passed, I’m not sure I can ever fully get over losing my Dad and just how much I still miss seeing him and hearing his voice at home.
“Dad was a kind and hardworking man and didn’t deserve to have his retirement cut short by this disease or to have to suffer at the end, through no fault of his own.
“It’s not been easy but I feel I owe it to dad to find out how he came to be exposed to asbestos and get the answers he now can never seek to find for himself.
“We didn’t get much time together in those last weeks before his death to discuss his work history in any detail. From what he said, it sounds like Dad did encounter asbestos in his career but if any of his old workmates could come forward and help us, I would be so grateful”.
Anyone with information which could help Janet is asked to contact Iain Shoolbred at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office on 0121 214 5446 or email iain.shoolbred@IrwinMitchell.com
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