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Sheffield widow's search for workers after electrician husband dies from Cancer

Tragic death from asbestos exposure


A Sheffield widow, whose electrician husband died after being exposed to asbestos at work, is appealing for his former colleagues to help in her legal battle for compensation.

Freda Hobson's husband, John, of Chapeltown, died aged 60 in November 2003 from malignant mesothelioma, the asbestos-related lung cancer. A verdict of industrial death was returned at his inquest in April 2004.


Asbestos exposure victim

Mr Hobsons illness is thought to have been caused by exposure to asbestos dust at H E Barnes (Electrical) Limited, of Leyburn Road, Abbeydale, Sheffield, where he worked between 1958 and 1980. Mrs Hobson is appealing for former colleagues, who can help to prove this, to come forward.

They should contact Martyn Hayward or Helen Ashton, from the national law firm Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield's Riverside, who is representing Mrs Hobson, buy visiting our asbestos related diseases section and completing an enquiry form.


Asbestos exposure solicitors

Martyn Hayward said: After Mr Hobson, a father of two, joined HE Barnes as an apprentice electrician at the age of 15, he came into contact with an asbestos-containing material called Tufnol, which was used as an insulator between electrical components. Tufnol was usually cut to size before installation, using a circular saw in the firms workshop, thus producing large amounts of airborne asbestos-laden dust.

After qualifying as an electrician in 1964, he worked at various sites in the South Yorkshire area, where he came into contact with other asbestos materials including Sindanyo. This insulating substance was found in salt baths, which were used in hardening drill bits.

At no time during Mr Hobsons employment was he provided with a dust mask or offered any type of respiratory protection.


Terminal cancer diagnosis

Mrs Hobson said: This terrible illness took my husband away from me so quickly. He first became ill in March 2003 with a persistent dry cough and tightness in his chest. In July 2003, after various tests, including a CT guided needle biopsy, the hospital broke the devastating news to us that he had mesothelioma.

We were told that there is no cure for this disease and John died just four months later. It is such an aggressive illness that causes so much pain and suffering. John suffered a great deal and has left behind a family who miss him terribly.

Martyn Hayward explained: As with so many cases of mesothelioma, Mr Hobson had only a matter of months to live, once he had been diagnosed, and this came as a terrible shock to his family, who are still trying to come to terms with his death. For them to obtain some recompense for the debilitating illness from which he died, its vital people who worked alongside him come forward to assist us with our enquiries.

Can we help you? If you think you or someone you know has a claim, seek legal advice immediately - visit our asbestos disease claim section.