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Family's Search For Ex-Workers Following Father's Asbestos Death



A Halesowen family, whose father recently died from an incurable form of cancer, is appealing for his former work colleagues to get in touch.

54-year-old Kelvin Parker was diagnosed in August 2007 with mesothelioma, the fatal asbestos-related disease. Mr Parker, who was divorced with three children sadly passed away on 19 November 2008.

An inquest into Mr Parker's death took place this week (Wednesday March 11th) and Sandwell Coroner, Robin Balmain, returned a verdict of death as a result of industrial disease.

It is believed that Mr Parker was exposed to asbestos during the course of his work. He was employed by Cradley Heath based TIS Modular Structures Ltd, a subsidiary of Thomson Insulation Services, which ceased trading in September 1986.

Mr Parker had begun legal action prior to his death and his family are continuing his fight for justice.

His daughter, Natalie Parker explained: "Dad gave up work in 1987 to look after his mother who needed full time care after she lost both legs as a result of gangrene. He was tireless in caring for her right up until her death in 1998. It was only a few years after she passed away that his own health began to suffer.

"He underwent tests and the doctors diagnosed mesothelioma. None of us had ever heard of this illness before and it was a terrible to shock to discover that it was caused by being exposed to asbestos dust and that there is no known cure.

"Despite knowing the prognosis, my Dad agreed to undergo chemotherapy as part of a drug trial to try to slow down the illness."

Prior to his death, Mr Parker was able to provide a written statement detailing working conditions with his employers, JW Thomson and their subsidiary TIS Modular Structures Ltd, where he was employed to fit suspended ceilings.

The company had a long term contract with Rover and Mr Parker spent the majority of his time fitting suspended ceilings at the car manufacturer's Longbridge site. Mr Parker had to fit suspended ceilings under the original ceiling which was lagged with spray asbestos. He and his workmates were compelled to disturb the asbestos lagging as they worked underneath it to fit the ceilings. Mr Parker recalled that asbestos dust used to fall on them as they worked.

Iain Shoolbred, from the Birmingham office of law firm Irwin Mitchell, is representing Mr Parker's family. He said: "The inquest confirms that Mr Parker's death was as a direct result of being exposed to asbestos.

"During the course of his work with TIS, we know that he was often exposed to asbestos. Mr Parker claimed that his employers did not provide him or his workmates with masks, ventilation equipment or any warning regarding the dangers of asbestos when he worked for TIS at Rover's Longbridge site."

Anyone who was employed by TIS Modular Structures and who worked alongside Mr Parker is asked to contact Iain Shoolbred at Irwin Mitchell solicitors on 0870 1500 or iain.shoolbred@irwinmitchell.com.