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Mother Killed By Asbestos Carried On Husband’s Overalls

Daughter Appeals To The Public


A Sunderland woman was killed by Asbestos brought home on her husband’s work overalls and now her daughter has appealed to the public for help with her fight for justice.

Denise Hudson, from Sunderland, has instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to launch a legal bid for justice after losing her mother Ellen Anderson, 66, to the asbestos-related disease, Mesothelioma in December 2008.

Unlike most other victims of industrial diseases checkout assistant Mrs Anderson never went near a shipyard or boiler room.

But her husband John was a Wearside shipyard worker – he would return home wearing overalls covered in asbestos, inadvertently exposing his family to the deadly substance.
Now Roger Maddocks, partner and industrial illness specialist at law firm Irwin Mitchell, is investigating a claim against her father’s former employers, George Clark, in Sunderland, for whom he worked for from 1961 until his sudden death in 1973, aged just 34.

Mesothelioma can develop up to 40 years after exposure to asbestos dust, so although Mr Anderson died so long ago, it took over three decades for his widow to develop symptoms of the disease.

Mr Maddocks said: “Mrs Hudson lost one parent at a tragically young age and has now had the other cruelly taken from her too. Nothing can compensate her for what she has lost but she is now keen to see justice brought against the company that was exposing her father to asbestos and therefore placing her entire family at risk.

“Examples of third party exposure to asbestos are not as common as the cases involving direct exposure, but that possibly increases the devastating impact they can have. Mrs Anderson never worked for George Clark, but we would like to prove that the company is just as liable for the exposure.

“We need to identify people who also worked at the company around the same time, who can help provide evidence that, as we suspect, there was widespread exposure to asbestos taking place there.”

Mrs Hudson described the brutality with which Mesothelioma took her sadly-missed mother.

“She had a hard life. She was a fabulous woman, really great – my father died so long ago and she worked all her life to support three children,” she said.

“What happened to her came as a complete shock. She was diagnosed with the disease and then died within the year. It was a terribly cruel way to have her taken from us.

“She worked as a cashier at the local supermarket – there is no way she could have been exposed to asbestos in any way other than via my father’s overalls.

“My father worked really hard but always had a smile on his face. Sunday afternoons were the best - my dad would sit in his favourite chair and we’d watch the TV, like Black Beauty, together and then go out to play.

“It’s disgusting what he and so many other people had to go through at work back then.”