Former Carpenter Died Following Battle With Mesothelioma
The widow of a former carpenter who died from an aggressive cancer is continuing her battle for justice after an inquest this week (Wednesday 17th August) confirmed that being exposed to asbestos at work caused his death.
Alan Charles Goldsworthy, from Penzance in Cornwall, was diagnosed last September with mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer of the chest lining and died just eight months later. HM Coroner for the County of Cornwall, Dr Emma Carlyon, today recorded a verdict of industrial disease.
The 57-year-old, who lived and worked for much of his life in the county, was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a carpenter/joiner for Praze-based L. Blewett and Sons.
Helen Grady, a workplace illness expert with Irwin Mitchell Solicitors’ Bristol office, who is representing his widow, Hilary Goldsworthy, commented: “This is a particularly sad case. As result of this cruel illness, his family have been robbed of their future together.
“Alan was devastated when he had to stop work in August last year due to his ill health and all the plans he and his wife had made have been cut short as a result of this aggressive cancer.
“Today’s inquest verdict confirms that Alan died as a direct result of being exposed to asbestos. On behalf of Hilary we are continuing the legal battle for justice which her husband had embarked upon before his untimely death.”
Before his death, Mr Goldsworthy recalled being exposed to large amounts of asbestos during his time with L. Blewett and Sons, based in The Gables, Praze, between 1969 and 1977. He remembered having to cut asbestos soffit and fascias, saw asbestos roof sheets, cut asbestos tiles, apply asbestos artex and dry sweep the asbestos dust at the end of the day.
Hilary Goldsworthy commented: “The entire family has been devastated by Alan’s death. His parents, who also live locally, miss him terribly. We had been married for 25 years and have five children, Charlie (20), Jessie (21), Patricia (22), Maryanne (24) and Victoria (25). She and her husband Jonny were married just four months before Alan’s diagnosis and are now expecting their first child in January.
“Alan used to do carpentry and general building jobs and just before his diagnosis he had built a house in Rosevean, Penzance with his son, Charlie, who had learnt the trade from his Dad. Just days before his death, they were looking at another plot of land to build another house.”
Mr Goldsworthy was well known in the local community. For 30 years, he was involved with the local cricket club and for the last 14 years he was cricket coach for Penwith District Cricket Club and Penzance Cricket team.
Mrs Goldsworthy continued: “At the end of his chemotherapy, Alan and I went to Tenerife in April 2011. We both had a great time and had talked about planning a family trip with all the children in September; however sadly this wasn’t meant to be as Alan passed away in May.
“His death came as a terrible shock to us all and to see him suffer so badly knowing there was nothing I could do to help was very upsetting. I hope what happened to Alan serves as a warning to other workers and, in particular employers, that health and safety regulations are there for a reason and should never be ignored.”
Helen Grady added: “Now that the inquest is over, we are keen to move the case forward. Whilst no amount of money will turn back the clock, we have now successfully resolved liability against the defendants, L. Blewett and Sons and we hope to settle the case soon so that we can gain justice for Hilary and the children.”