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Family’s Appeal Following Asbestos Death Of Panthers Founder

Man Dies From Mesothelioma


The son and daughter of a founding member of rugby league side Castleford Panthers, who died from asbestos related cancer, are appealing for his former colleagues to get in touch.
Brian Lloyd, 67, was diagnosed in March 2009 with mesothelioma, an aggressive and fatal cancer of the lung lining caused by exposure to asbestos. He died three months later on June 27 2009 at the Prince of Wales hospice, Pontefract where he was receiving palliative care.

A recent inquest into Mr Lloyd’s death, which took place on December 2nd at Wakefield Coroner's Court, recorded a verdict of death as a result of industrial disease.

Brian's son John Lloyd, a local firefighter, has now instructed industrial disease experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the circumstances surrounding his father’s death.

It is believed that Mr Lloyd came in to contact with asbestos fibres while working for Babcock and Wilcox Ltd in the rigging team, erecting boilers at the Ferrybridge power stations between 1964 and 1967.

It is thought that he was also exposed to the deadly dust in his position as a scaffolder for Leeds-based Palmers Scaffolding at the same set of power stations and several others, including Skelton Grange, Thorpe Marsh and Cottam during the 1970s.

“As a firefighter I know all too well the importance of health and safety training and the need to be provided with the right personal protective equipment at work,” said John Lloyd.

“My father worked in many dirty, dusty power stations during his early career and was never given a protective face mask, any respiratory equipment or even told about the dangers of asbestos, which I find unbelievable really.

“He never even saw anyone testing the air to see if the asbestos levels were dangerous. There must have been hundreds of men who worked at the power stations without any protection from the deadly dust.

“The worst thing about this whole ordeal was when Dad realised he would no longer be able to be involved with the local rugby club. He had always played and coached rugby from being a young boy and was totally devoted to Castleford Panthers. As a life member and president of the club, it was his passion, he was never happier than when he was cheering them on.”

Mr Lloyd's solicitor Ian Toft, an industrial disease expert at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds, said it was imperative that Brian's former co-workers came forward to help shed light on his exact working conditions during his time with Babcock and Wilcox, R B Hilton Ltd, Palmers Scaffolding and Charles Barker Engineering.

“Due to the nature of Mr Lloyd's work he had to move around a lot and go where the work was. Unfortunately for Brian although he never worked directly with asbestos himself lagging work was often being carried out directly around him at the Power Stations. As he summed up to me it was 'all over the power stations'.

“He recalled that the sky would often look dusty because of the volume of pre-formed sections of lagging being cut up and all the 'monkey muck' - an asbestos based material - that was mixed in large tubs and applied to pipes and valves near to his work sites.

“As a scaffolder, he would often disturb sections of asbestos whilst erecting the platforms and said that it often came down on him 'like snow glinting in the sunshine'. He was never given any breathing apparatus or ventilation to protect him from breathing in the fibres.”

John Lloyd added: “Before the onset of his symptoms he used to say he was 'as fit as a lop', he couldn't drive and so walked absolutely everywhere - he was totally independent and very active for his age.

“It broke my heart to see him in such a great deal of pain just a month after his diagnosis. My sister Tracy is a nurse and she has never seen a cancer patient go through the pain levels and suffering my dad had to endure with this terrible relentless disease. He felt weighed down by the illness and suffered searing hot pains that would completely debilitate him.

“We did everything we could to care for him and make his last few weeks as peaceful as possible. His last six hours on this earth were beyond description for all of us. Suffice to say it was very traumatic indeed.

“Only people who have watched their loved ones die from this horrendous disease know the pain, suffering and humiliation that they go through.

“The memory of Dad's awful ordeal will forever haunt us. He was a good man of the old school, very sociable, a glass half full kind of guy who enjoyed life to the full. He has been taken away far too soon and our lives will be poorer for his absence.”

“Mesothelioma is known as the silent killer and it's clear that this was certainly the case for Mr Lloyd who developed the disease many years after he was exposed to asbestos dust,” continued Mr Toft.

“He was enjoying a happy retirement and making plans for becoming even more involved in his beloved rugby club Castleford Panthers. After receiving the devastating news that he had mesothelioma he passed away just 3 months later. Sadly, he never got to go on his planned trip of a lifetime to Australia to watch his beloved rugby league.”

Anyone who worked alongside Mr Lloyd during the 1960s and 1970s or who has any information about Babcock and Wilcox, R B Hilton Ltd, Palmers Scaffolding and Charles Barker Engineering is asked to contact Ian Toft at Irwin Mitchell solicitors on 08700 150 100 or ian.toft@irwinmitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.