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Coroner Finds Dad-Of-Four Died From Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos Experts Appeal To Former Colleagues To Come Forward With Information


The son of a former Bristol metal factory worker who died of lung cancer has spoken of his battle to find answers about his dad’s death after a coroner found it was caused by exposure to deadly asbestos dust.

Father-of-four Dick Hopson, from Winterbourne, died just five days after Christmas in 2010, aged 82, after being diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer just a few months before.

At an inquest into his death held yesterday (3 October) at Avon District Coroners Court, the Coroner Maria Voisin, recorded a verdict of death by industrial disease.

Before his death, Dick instructed asbestos experts at Irwin Mitchell in a battle to find answers about where and why he was exposed to the material and his son Royston, age 52, is now continuing the legal action.

Dick told industrial illness experts at the firm that he was exposed to asbestos dust when he worked with the metal machines at the Newmans Foundry in Yate, from 1959 to 1982.

Now, Satpal Singh, an asbestos expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office representing Royston, would like to speak with any of Dick’s former colleagues as they may hold vital evidence about the presence of asbestos and working conditions at the foundry.

Satpal said: “The inquest today has confirmed to Dick’s devastated family that he died as a result of exposure to asbestos and they understandably want answers about why this happened so they can seek justice for his death.

“During his time at Newmans, Dick worked on furnaces nearly every day which were surrounded by pipes insulated with asbestos.

“He was regularly present when the insulation was replaced and maintenance workers would mix asbestos powder into a paste and apply this round the furnace. He remembered dried asbestos paste was left on the floor and as people walked over it, it became dust.

“Employers have known about the risks of exposure to asbestos since the 1950s and 60s but Dick was never warned of the dangers or given any protective clothing to wear, which it seems ultimately cost him his life.

“I would like to speak with any of his former Newmans colleagues from 1959 to 1982 as they may hold vital evidence that will help Royston and his siblings come to terms with the loss of their dad.”

Royston said: “When my dad was diagnosed with asbestos-related lung cancer we just couldn’t believe it and felt angry that it had been caused by something he had no control over.

“He’d suffered breathing problems for the last five years but still lived independently and loved spending time with his family including his 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He also enjoyed country walks, gardening and watching football.

“For him then to die just weeks after being diagnosed between Christmas and New Year was heart breaking and the entire family have struggled to come to terms with it.

“The inquest verdict confirms dad’s lung cancer was caused by his working conditions and means we can now concentrate on finding out why he was exposed so we can finally move forward with our lives. I just hope his ex-colleagues come forward as any information, no matter how small, could help us.”

Anyone who thinks they can help should contact Satpal Singh on 0370 1500 100 or email Satpal.Singh@IrwinMitchell.com

Our expert asbestos lung cancer solicitors will provide you with free initial advice on your compensation claim if you or a loved on has been diagnosed with lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. See our Asbestos-Related Disease Claims Guide for more information.