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Woman Seeks Justice After Asbestos Inquest Verdict

Coroner Rules Man Died of Industrial Disease


The distraught partner of a man who died just four weeks after being diagnosed with suspected mesothelioma has welcomed an investigation into his death after an inquest ruled he was exposed to deadly asbestos dust at work.

On Friday 4 May the Deputy Coroner at Sheffield Coroner’s Court, Julian Fox, recorded a verdict of Industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos on the death of 72-year-old Keith Furniss, who died in September last year, less than a month after he was given the devastating news.

It is thought Keith, of Lower Walkey, may have suffered his health problems due to time spent at Sheffield Corporation from 1967 to 1973 and at Jessop-Saville Ltd steel works from 1954 to 1967.

Simone Hardy, an asbestos related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell, represents Keith’s partner Glenis Furniss. She said: “Mesothelioma has a massive impact on victims who are diagnosed as they and their families are forced to try and deal with the reality of a disease that cannot be cured. With our help, Glenis is determined to continue Keith’s battle in his memory.

“Little is known about the roles Keith did at both Sheffield Corporation and Jessop-Saville Ltd steel works. We would urge anyone who remembers working alongside him to get in touch. We are also keen to hear from people who can help shed light on working conditions at either of these places during the time he spent there.”

She continues: “People have the right to go to work in a safe environment and carry out their job without the risk of illness or injury. All that Keith did was breath the air as he went about his duties and as a result he contracted a fatal illness. We will continue to work with his family to get the justice they deserve.”

Commenting on her ordeal, Glenis, Keith’s partner of 15 years, said: “We were devastated when the doctors told us Keith may be suffering from a terminal condition and could only have a matter of weeks to live.  It came as a huge shock that his life was being cut short because of work he did over 40 years ago.

“It’s difficult to know that simple steps could have been taken to prevent his illness, and I wouldn’t have lost my soul mate.”

She adds “I’m relieved that the inquest is now over but there are still questions surrounding his death that need to be answered.”

Anyone with information should contact Simone Hardy at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4420 or at simone.hardy@irwinmitchell.com