Former Hotpoint Factory Worker Diagnosed With Mesothelioma Appeals For Information
By Suzanne Rutter
A dad-of-two coming to terms with the devastating news he is suffering from an incurable asbestos-related cancer is appealing for his ex-colleagues to help lawyers investigate how he was exposed to the deadly dust.
Arfon Morris, of Llandudno Junction in Gwynedd, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2012 and believes the condition was caused by exposure to asbestos during his 40-year career at the Hotpoint factory, which was based in Conwy Road and run by General Domestic Appliances Limited.
Arfon has instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help provide answers as to how he was exposed to asbestos and why more was not done to protect him. Together they are now appealing for his former colleagues to provide information about the working conditions at the Hotpoint factory in Llandudno Junction.
The 77-year-old worked at the Hotpoint factory, which manufactured washing machines and tumble dryers, between 1957 and 1977 as a spray painter, welder and general labourer. He had to spray paint washing machine parts such as lids and door panels while in the welding shop he fused metal plates together to make washing machine parts and assembled the wheels for washing machines.
He also carried out labouring jobs around the factory such as cleaning, brushing up debris and general maintenance duties during the firm’s shut-down periods. Arfon believes the factory’s maze of pipe work was covered in asbestos lagging and hopes his former workmates will be able to provide more information about how widely it was used in the factory.
Geraldine Coombs, an industrial disease expert from Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office representing him, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes much pain and distress for victims like Arfon who worked in the manufacturing industry where asbestos was widely used. Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure despite knowing how dangerous it was.
“We hope that Arfon’s former workmates from Hotpoint come forward with information about how he was exposed to asbestos so we can get him the justice he deserves and we will continue to provide care and support to him during this difficult time as we work towards helping provide financial security for him and his family.”
Arfon, who has a son and daughter, first started to show symptoms of mesothelioma in May 2012 when he suffered from a persistent cough. After various tests and scans, doctors finally broke the devastating news to Arfon in December last year that he was suffering from mesothelioma and that nothing could be done to cure the debilitating condition.
He now suffers from constant pain in his chest and struggles to walk without help from his wife Sophia, to whom he has been married for 49 years. He also relies on help from nurses and on a walking frame or a wheelchair to get out. He is also no longer able to enjoy walking his dog or riding his bike.
He said: “My job at the Hotpoint factory was always so dirty and dusty, particularly when I was doing the maintenance work, which took me around the firm’s different machine shops, tool rooms and offices.
“The factory was always undergoing modernisation and restructuring which meant a lot of the walls and panelling, which I believe contained asbestos, had to be knocked down and reconstructed in different places. I also recall the pipe work running throughout the factory was lagged with asbestos.
“It’s devastating to think I’m now suffering with this terrible illness and I might not have long left. No one warned me about how dangerous asbestos could be for my health and no precautions were taken against asbestos. “I am not the same man I used to be. I just hope my old work mates come forward to help provide information to my legal team so that I can provide for my family once I’m gone.”
Anyone with information about the working conditions at Hotpoint, run by General Domestic Appliances Ltd, between 1957 and 1997 should contact Geraldine Coombs at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office on 0161 838 3061 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.