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Widow Of Asbestos Death Engineer Launches Battle For Justice

Specialist Workplace Illness Lawyers Appeal For Co-workers to Get in Touch


The devastated family of a former engineer who died of an aggressive asbestos-related cancer just two months after being diagnosed with the disease are appealing for former co-workers to get in touch as they launch their battle for justice.

Bill Smithers from Worthing died, aged 87, in Worthing Hospital in September 2010 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, leaving his wife Rosemary, 86, and daughter Jill Robinson, 61, heartbroken and looking for answers.

After his diagnosis, Bill told childhood sweetheart and wife of 61 years, Rosemary, he believed he could have come into contact with the deadly dust whilst working at Eplon Engineering in Leatherhead, Surrey from 1984 – 1987 working on a lathe with a product called Tufnol, which produced large amounts of air-borne asbestos.

His family has contacted industrial illness experts at Irwin Mitchell who are appealing to anybody who worked at the firm during this time to get in touch to help provide vital information about the working conditions and the products used at Eplon Engineering.

Rosemary said: “I have health problems myself and Bill was wonderful at taking care of me. He would do all the cooking and cleaning when I wasn’t feeling up to it, he was one in a million.

“My daughter Jill and I are heartbroken after losing Bill and we hope his former colleagues will get in touch as they may have answers that will provide some justice for his death.

“After his diagnosis we chatted about where he could have come into contact with asbestos and he immediately thought about his work with Tufnol and said ‘it was that bloody dust’ referring to it. He was not a man to swear very much and this showed how shocked and angry he was.

“He said the dust used to make him cough but he was never given a face mask or any other protection. To think that such a simple thing means Bill would likely still be with us today is hard to come to terms with.”

Caroline Pinfold, a Partner and workplace illness expert from Irwin Mitchell’s London office, is representing the family in their battle for justice and future financial security. She said: “Bill was a deeply caring man whose wife often depended on him and she is understandably finding it hard to come to terms with his death.

“By the mid 80s employers were well aware of the associated dangers of working with asbestos and we’re still regularly seeing cases from this time where employers continued to put their workforce at risk.

“Bill was healthy, enjoying his retirement and was a popular member of his local bowling club before he was struck down with the aggressive illness. His family understandably want answers as to who’s responsible for him catching this deadly disease and justice for the loss of Bill’s life.”

Anyone who can help with any information is asked to contact Caroline Pinfold at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or email caroline.pinfold@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.