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Widow Of Former Local Man Launches Appeal For Witnesses Following The Death Of Her Husband From Mesothelioma

Cape Asbestos Factory witnesses needed



The widow of a former local man from Sutton Green in Barking is launching an appeal for witnesses, as she commences legal proceedings following the death of her husband from the incurable asbestos related cancer mesothelioma.  It is believed he is yet another victim of the notorious Cape Asbestos Factory in Harts Lane, Barking.

Mr Gordon Sanders died from mesothelioma on 17 September 2005. Originally from Dagenham, Essex, he moved to Barking as a small child in 1953 and it was during this time that his family believe he was exposed to asbestos, which later claimed his life.  Mr Sanders visited the Cape Asbestos Factory on a few occasions as a child with his father who worked there from time to time as a telephone engineer.

He was also frequently exposed to asbestos when a family friend who worked at Cape called in on his way home from work. He would play rough and tumble games with the children, including Gordon, unwittingly showering them with lethal asbestos dust from his clothes.

Mr Sanders attended Westbury School, situated within one mile of the factory and asbestos dust was constantly within the grounds and classroom.  Mr Sanders widow, Ethel Sanders, 57 is now appealing for any witnesses to come forward in a bid to support her legal case against the former Cape Asbestos Factory.

Mrs Sanders said: "I urgently need witnesses to come forward who can confirm what conditions were like in the area around the factory and inside the factory between the period of 1953 – 1959.  I believe that the asbestos that my husband was exposed to during these years was responsible for his untimely death from mesothelioma, an incurable disease which has affected many, many people in this area as a result of this former factory.  Anyone who has lost a loved one to this disease will know that it is an excruciatingly painful one, and one for which there is no cure.  Not only did I lose a husband to it, but my husband’s mother lost a son, and his children lost a father.  Three years on we are still in mourning for him but are confident we can bring justice for my husband, with the help of people in the area who remember the factory well."

The Cape Asbestos Factory was originally opened in Harts Lane in 1913.  It is believed a total of 10,142 people* had been employed at the factory through the years.  Last October a memorial was erected in memory of those in the Barking and Dagenham area who had lost their lives to mesothelioma.

Caroline Pinfold, of Irwin Mitchell solicitors who is representing Mrs Sanders and her family in their legal case, commented: "It is no exaggeration to say that this former factory has had a devastating affect on the people in Barking who either used to work there or were exposed to the asbestos in the surrounding area as a result of it flying out of the factory. The Barking medical Officer of Health even wrote in his annual report in 1929 that “many people in Barking were suffering from disease of the lungs due to inhalation of asbestos dust”, yet even following this report the factory remained open for 39 years.   We urgently need witnesses who remember the factory to come forward and help support our legal case, in a bid to bring justice to both Mr Sanders and his family."

Anyone who remembers the factory well and can recall the conditions in or around the factory between the years of 1953 – 1959 should contact: Caroline Pinfold, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, 150 Holborn, London EC1N 2NS on 08000 23 22 33 or caroline.pinfold@irwinmitchell.com.