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Partner Of Joiner Who Died From Asbestos-Related Disease Vows To Get Justice For His Death

Expert Lawyers Call For His Ex Colleagues To Help Investigation


By Suzanne Rutter

The devastated partner of a former joiner who died from an asbestos-related disease is appealing for his ex colleagues to help specialist industrial illness lawyers investigate if more could have been done to protect him from the deadly dust.

Richard Major died aged 63 in May 2010 after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, after battling the debilitating condition for less than a year. He was born in Buckinghamshire and spent most of his working life in Bucks and in the London area.

Before his death, Richard told his heartbroken partner of 25 years that he believed he was exposed to asbestos while working as a joiner for Modern Ceilings Limited in Uxbridge, carrying out ceiling fitting work in the Uxbridge and Reading areas. Modern Ceilings, which has now been dissolved, was a subsidiary of KW Brock Limited, also known as KWB Roofing Limited.

Richard worked at the firm on a sub-contractor basis from 1968 to 1976 and recalled completing contracts for United Dairies in Royal Wootton Bassett, Ellesmere and Carmarthen.  He also recalled working on jobs at Cranks Health Foods in London and Brunel University in Uxbridge.

Richard used asbestos ceiling tiles during his work and he couldn’t help but breathe in the asbestos dust as he cut the two-foot square tiles to size with a hand saw.

His partner Jane Francis, of Beccles in Suffolk, has now instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help piece together information about his asbestos exposure and to find out if any more could have been done by his employers to protect him.

Simone Hardy, an expert asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing her, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress for victims like Richard who worked in industries where asbestos was regularly used. Sadly, many employers did not do enough to manage the risks of asbestos exposure despite knowing how dangerous it is.

“We hope that Richard’s former co-workers will come forward to help answer the many questions Jane has about her partner’s asbestos exposure as well as what arrangements were in place for subcontractors. It’s important that we now help Jane honour Richard’s memory and get him the justice he deserves.”

Richard first started to show the symptoms of mesothelioma in December 2009 when he suffered a flu-like illness, weight loss, a cough and lethargy. Further tests and scans confirmed he was suffering from mesothelioma in April 2010 and he received specialist care at the James Paget Hospital.  He died at home surrounded by his family, Jane and step children Rachel and Tom, on 10 May 2010.

Dental nurse Jane, 55, said: “It’s been absolutely devastating for the whole family losing Richard in such terrible circumstances, something I don’t think we will ever get over. He worked hard all his life and to think his employers could potentially have protected him from this debilitating illness is a bitter pill to swallow.

“His work was always so dirty and dusty and he worked on so many different contracts for the firm I hope that his ex work mates remember him and help our legal team piece together information about the working conditions he endured so that I can honour his memory and get him the justice he deserves.”

Anyone with information about the working conditions, and any arrangements the firm made for sub-contractors or self-employed workers, at Modern Ceilings Limited in the 1960s and 1970s, should contact Simone Hardy at Irwin Mitchell on 0114 274 4420 or email simone.hardy@irwinmitchell.com.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise related to Mesothelioma Compensation Claims.