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Partner Of Former Carpenter Who Died Of Asbestos Cancer In Search For Former Colleagues

Industrial Illness Experts Say Answers Will Bring Closure And Justice


The heartbroken partner of a former Essex carpenter who died in her arms of an asbestos-related disease just days after being diagnosed is appealing to his former colleagues to help her in a legal battle for justice.

Peter Jones died in April 2010, aged 67, just nine days after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer in the lining of the lungs, at St Richard’s Hospice near his home in Worcester. He left behind his devastated partner of over 20 years Margaret Hall, who he cared for as she has arthritis, desperate for answers about her loss.

The 71-year-old instructed asbestos experts at Irwin Mitchell and is now echoing requests from the firm for Peter’s former colleagues to get in touch as they may hold vital information about the presence of asbestos and working conditions at the firms where he used to work.

Peter worked as a carpenter for a number of companies across London in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, but because he died so soon after his diagnosis, there was not a lot of time for him to tell Margaret in any detail whether he came into contact with asbestos.

He recalled inhaling deadly dust at CS Wiggins & Sons Ltd in Thundersley, Essex, where he completed a joinery apprenticeship between approximately 1958 and 1963/64 and industrial illness experts would like to speak with any former employees of the firm.

From looking at his employment history, lawyers are also keen to hear from past workers at a number of construction firms that may have been linked to asbestos previously, including Richard Costain Ltd, W&C French Ltd, Rush & Tompkins Ltd, Higgs & Hill Ltd, Tersons Ltd, Taylor Woodrow Group and C Bryant & Sons Ltd.  Mr Jones carried out work for these firms all over the London area.

Kim Barrett, an asbestos expert at Irwin Mitchell representing Margaret, said: “This is a tragic case that has left Margaret devastated by her loss and desperate for answers about where Peter came into contact with asbestos.

“Because he died so quickly after being told he had an asbestos-related cancer, there was no time for Peter to look back and remember where he could have been exposed.

“We desperately need his former colleagues to get in touch to help with answers and justice for Margaret so she can begin to come to terms with her loss.

“Employers have been aware of the risks associated with asbestos since the 1950, 60s and 70s, especially in the construction industry and there is no excuse for staff not being warned of these dangers or being provided with protective equipment and clothing.”

Peter moved from Essex to Worcester in the 1980s where he met his partner Margaret. He began suffering from pain in his shoulder and breathlessness throughout 2009 and after months of hospital appointments and tests, in March 2010, a scan revealed a huge tumour which was inoperable because it was pressing against his heart.

Within days he had rapidly deteriorated and he passed away in Margaret’s arms at St Richard’s Hospice in Worcester, close to their home.

Margaret said: “Peter suffered for a long time in pain and with breathing difficulties and it was so hard to watch. He had always been such a fit and healthy man.

“I have arthritis in my joints which causes me problems with movement and housework but Peter was fantastic and always looked after me. He took on so much round the house and it feels so empty without him.

“After his diagnosis everything happened so quickly, it was so hard to come to terms with. It made me angry to see him so poorly through no fault of his own. It just didn’t seem fair.

“I just hope anyone who remembers working with Pete gets in touch as any information could help me come to terms with what has happened and bring justice for his death.”

Anyone who thinks they can help should contact Kim Barrett at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or email kim.barrett@irwinmitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.