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37-Year-Old Cambridge Man Appeals For Help After Devastating Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Expert Asbestos Lawyers Investigating Rare Young Victim’s Exposure To Asbestos


A Cambridge man diagnosed with mesothelioma, an incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, when he was just 34-years-old has instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers to investigate how and where he was exposed to the deadly substance.

Paul Cowley, now 37, from Ely, Cambridgeshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2012. He has had an operation to remove part of the cancer and underwent six months of chemotherapy.

His expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say it is incredibly rare for someone so young to suffer from the illness, which usually takes decades from exposure to asbestos for symptoms to develop. The law firm is investigating whether Paul was exposed to asbestos at school, as many older school buildings are known to contain asbestos.

Father-of-one Paul, attended St Etheldreda's School from 1982 to 1985, before moving on to St Mary’s C of E junior School in Ely from 1986 and 1989 and the City of Ely Community College between 1989 and 1994.

Paul also believes he may have come into contact with the deadly dust and fibres as a child through his father Douglas’ overalls, which he remembers being covered in dust when he returned home from work at Standen Engineering Company.

Rosemary Giles, a Partner and expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office representing Paul, said: 

Expert Opinion
“Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive and unfortunately, incurable, disease and Paul and his family are understandably absolutely devastated with his diagnosis at such a young age. It is very rare for people to be diagnosed with the disease at such a young age as it usually takes decades to present symptoms.

“Paul doesn’t believe he was exposed to asbestos during his own working life so we are now looking to investigate if he came into contact with the substance while he was young, perhaps at school or through the dust and fibres present on his father’s overalls when he worked at the Standen Engineering Company in Ely.

“The vast majority of schools still contain asbestos and we have regularly called for a comprehensive risk register and associated removal programme to be implemented by the Government to reduce the risks posed to teachers, pupils and other support staff.

“We would like to hear from anyone with information about the presence of asbestos in the schools Paul attended, or any building work at the schools that would have caused asbestos to be disturbed in the 1980s.

“We would also like to hear from Paul’s father’s former colleagues at Standens about the presence of asbestos at the factory and what measures, if any, were in place to prevent exposure to asbestos and stop the material being released outside the premises.”
Rosemary Giles, Partner

Paul said: “Obviously my wife, Claire, and I were left absolutely devastated when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. My operation was successful, but I will never be cured, and I know that I will not get to do a lot of the things we had planned for the future.

“My main aim now is to make sure everyone is aware of mesothelioma and to ensure people are aware of just how dangerous asbestos can be. My life will be cut short by an asbestos-related disease and many others are going through the same as me.

“Hopefully, by raising awareness of the serious health risks posed by asbestos I will help to reduce the number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma in the future and see progress made on the removal of the substance from the old buildings it continues to be present in.

“I have instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where I was exposed to asbestos and I hope that some of my dad’s former colleagues at Standens and anyone with knowledge of asbestos at the schools I attended will come forward with the information we need.”

Anyone with knowledge of asbestos in the schools Paul attended or information about the presence of the substance at Standen Engineering Company should contact Rosemary Giles at Irwin Mitchell Cambridge on 0203 582 6232 or email Rosemary.Giles@IrwinMitchell.com

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

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