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Inquest Outcome ‘Highlights Hospital Asbestos Dangers’

Industrial Disease Verdict Recorded At Hearing


The outcome of a recent Grimsby inquest highlights why the potential dangers of asbestos in hospitals cannot be underestimated, according to an industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell.

A verdict of death due to industrial disease was recorded at the hearing into the death of former nurse Shirley Burns, who died of mesothelioma aged 71 at the town’s St Andrew’s Hospice in May.

The Grimsby Telegraph reports that while a pathologist had previously said her death was the result of natural causes, Coroner Paul Kelly stated that it was more likely linked to asbestos exposure in training hospitals in London.

There is believed to be a link between asbestos in tunnels used to access different areas of some London teaching hospitals and a number of cases of mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of the lung.

David Cass, an asbestos-related disease specialist based at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield, said cases like this were not uncommon.

He outlined: “We have handled a number of cases in which the facts have been similar to this over the past 15 years or so. Exposure to asbestos is often linked to work in industrial settings, but it is often the case that the dangers can also be high in many public buildings including hospitals and schools.

“It is an awful truth that so many people who suffer from mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses do so because precautions were not taken to protect them from the dangers of the material during their working life.

“We hope that cases like this, which highlight the terrible consequences of exposure, will set an example to employers and encourage them to ensure asbestos is managed in the safest possible manner whenever it is present in a building.”

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.