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Search For Ex-workers After Woman's Asbestos Death

Family Of Black Country Woman Searching For Former Colleagues


The family of a Black Country woman, who died from an asbestos related cancer, is appealing for her former work colleagues to come forward with information, to help in their legal battle for justice.

64-year-old Pamela Siviter from Brierley Hill died on 26 August 2008, from mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer which is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mrs Siviter leaves behind her husband of 44 years, Arthur, as well as two children and three grandchildren. Her family now hope that ex-work colleagues may be able to help provide vital information.

Mrs Siviter worked for British Telecom for 16 years. Initially she was employed at the company’s Tipton telephone exchange in Horsley Heath where she worked as a switchboard operator from 1976 to 1982. She was later transferred to the West Bromwich telephone exchange based on the High Street, until her retirement in 1992. The West Bromwich exchange has since ceased operating and the building is now a Premier Inn hotel.

Mrs Siviter’s husband, Arthur commented: “Pamela was the centre of our family and lived for her children and grandchildren. She passed away after a short illness and the whole family were completely in shock.

“Her initial symptoms indicated problems with her gallbladder, but a subsequent operation confirmed the presence of cancer and so no inquest or post mortem was carried out. However, we requested that some of Pamela’s tissue samples were investigated further and in November 2008 we discovered that her death was in keeping with mesothelioma.”

Ronan Hynes, a workplace illness expert from the Birmingham office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell, is representing the Siviter family in their claim for compensation.

He commented: “Pamela’s family are still trying to come to terms with her death and in particular the shock of discovering that the illness which cut short her life was possibly as a result of an industrial illness.

“Over two thousand people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year and it is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. It does not respond well to treatment, and treatment options are limited. Employers have a duty to take precautions in limiting employees’ exposure to asbestos. There is no safe type of asbestos and even low levels of exposure can pose a serious risk.”

“In order to assist the family in obtaining justice, we would like to hear from anyone who can help us identify where Mrs Siviter may have been exposed to asbestos.

“We would be very interested to hear from anyone who worked at the BT telephone exchange in Horsley Heath, Tipton or at the High Street, West Bromwich exchange from the mid 1970s to late 1990s”

Anyone who is able to help can contact Ronan Hynes at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or ronan.hynes@irwinmitchell.com