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Widow In Battle For Justice After Husband Dies From Asbestos-Related Cancer

Industrial Illness Expert Calls On Former Colleagues For Help


The devastated widow of a former South London wood machinist who died of an asbestos-related disease has launched an emotional appeal as she battles for justice for her husband and is asking his former colleagues to come forward with vital information.

Brian Grover was diagnosed with mesothelioma - a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos - in October 2009. Despite bravely battling the illness for 18 months Brian, who lived in Upper Norwood with his wife, Valerie, died on 30th April 2011, aged 69.

With the help of specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, Valerie is now searching for people who worked alongside her husband as they may hold vital evidence as to how he came into contact with the lethal fibres.

It is believed Brian’s cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos whilst working for a construction company called G&W Waller Ltd (later known as Carlton Waller Ltd), based in Balham Grove, Wandsworth, South London.

During the mid 1980s Brian worked in one of the company’s large warehouses where it is believed workers used a large wall mounted saw to cut ‘Asbestolux’ sheeting which was used in buildings for fire protection and heat insulation.

Helen Ashton, a Partner and industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “An inquest, held on 9th August 2011, confirmed that Brian’s death was ‘due to asbestos related occupational disease.’

“However in order to gain justice for Valerie, we need to hear from people who used to work with Brian who can provide further information about working conditions at this factory during the 1980s.

“The dangers of asbestos exposure are well known and even as far back as the 1950s employers knew about the risks associated with the deadly substance and the effects of inhaling the lethal fibres.”

Commenting on her husband’s death, Valerie said: “Brian first became unwell in late 2008. At first it was only a tickly cough but when things didn’t improve tests revealed he was suffering from mesothelioma. To be told that he had an asbestos-related cancer which couldn’t be cured was so hard to accept.

“Brian fought the illness for as long as he could but in the end it spread to his bones and he became so weak that he was completely reliant upon others to care for him; which was not easy for him to deal with as he had always been such a strong, independent man.

“We had been happily married for 28 years and we had been due to celebrate our Pearl Wedding anniversary next year. Having worked hard all his life, Brian was looking forward enjoying his retirement. He was otherwise a very healthy man but sadly this terrible illness took him from me far too soon and has robbed me of the precious time we should have been able to spend together as a couple.”

Anyone who worked alongside Brian Grover or who has information relating to working conditions during the 1980s at G&W Waller, later known as Carlton Waller, should contact Helen Ashton at Irwin Mitchell on 0370 1500 100 or email helen.ashton@irwinmitchell.com