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Family’s Search For Ex-Workers After Sutton Coldfield Man Dies From Asbestos Exposure

Information Wanted On Exposure To Fibres


The family of a Sutton Coldfield man, who died from an asbestos related cancer, are hoping his former workmates may be able to provide vital information, in their battle to find out how he was exposed to lethal asbestos fibres.

78 year old Ernest Gibson from Falcon Lodge in Sutton Coldfield had previously been diagnosed with asbestosis but became seriously unwell in April 2009. Two months later, following a number of tests, it was confirmed that he was suffering from lung cancer. Sadly he died on 7th February 2010 and a post mortem confirmed his cancer was a result of being exposed to asbestos.

Mr Gibson leaves behind his wife of 50 years, Jean, as well as one daughter, two sons and 9 grandchildren.

Now, his family are determined to fight for justice and have launched a search to find his ex-work mates who may be able to provide additional information regarding working conditions and the presence of asbestos.

Mr Gibson worked for two firms where it is understood he came into contact with asbestos. Initially he worked as a carpenter Thomas Lowe & Sons Ltd between 1965 and 1974. Although the company was based in Burton upon Trent, Mr Gibson was subcontracted to work at sites around the local Birmingham area. Later he was employed as a site foreman and hands-on supervisor for Knowle-based builders, A.E. Thompson & Sons Ltd.

At the time of his employment with both firms, asbestos was routinely used in building work and Mr Gibson was often involved in cutting and drilling into asbestos sheets.

His widow, Jean commented: “Ernie and I had only recently celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary together. We both enjoyed our retirement to the full, going on holiday with our family and spending time with the grandchildren. Ernie was a fit man and gardening was a real passion for him.

“When he was diagnosed with asbestos related cancer in June 2009 it came as a huge shock to both of us. He suffered greatly in those final seven months and he has left behind a family who miss him terribly.”

Hayley Hill, a workplace illness expert with Irwin Mitchell solicitors is representing Mr Gibson’s family. She said: “Ernest and his family had to come to terms not only with the fact that his illness was sadly incurable but that it had most likely resulted from being exposed to asbestos whilst at work.

“Even in the 1950s and 60s employers knew the risks associated with asbestos but Mr Gibson was not provided with a face mask or warned of the dangers.

“In order to gain justice for Mr Gibson’s family, we are seeking additional information from anyone who worked at either Thomas Lowe & Sons Ltd between 1965 and 1974 or A.E Thompson & Sons (Builders) between 1974 and 1994 and would ask them to come forward to assist us with our enquiries.”

Anyone with information should contact Hayley Hill at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors on 0370 1500 100 or via hayley.hill@irwinmitchell.com

Our expert mesothelioma solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.