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Widow Appeals to Husband’s Former Colleagues After Asbestos Death

Expert Industrial Disease Lawyers Investigating Asbestos Exposure


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

The widow of a former Leeds factory worker who died of the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, is appealing to his former colleagues for information as she launches an investigation into his asbestos exposure at home and work.

Frank Whitley, 81, was admitted to St James’s Hospital after struggling to breathe and after a six-week stay he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive and terminal asbestos-related cancer, just four days before he died on 21 April 2015.

June believes Frank may have been exposed to asbestos during his childhood in Armley, Leeds, where he may have come into contact with asbestos linked to the Turner & Newell factory or the JW Roberts Factory on Canal Road.

She also believes he may have come into contact with asbestos during his time working for Wilson & Mathieson’s, between 1958 and 1963, where his role involved handling asbestos materials during the manufacturing of oven doors.

June and her daughter Pamela instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how Frank was exposed to asbestos and what measures, if any, were in place to protect him for exposure to the deadly substance.

Now, backed by her legal team, she is appealing for anyone who knew Frank when he lived in Armley, or worked alongside him at Wilson & Mathieson’s, to come forward with any information they may have about how he came into contact with the asbestos dust and fibres that caused him to develop mesothelioma.

Lucy Andrews, an asbestos-related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, representing Frank’s family, said: Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and sadly, terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure decades before symptoms develop. We often see cases like Frank’s where victims were unaware they were battling mesothelioma until the end of their lives.

“As a result they are unable to provide exact details of how and where they came into contact with asbestos, leaving their family with a number of unanswered questions.

“June and Pamela understandably want to understand how Frank was exposed and why more was not done to protect him. We are now appealing for his former colleagues and family friends from Armley to come forward with any information they may have about his exposure.”

June, who was married to Frank for more than 50 years, said: “Frank was a great family man and was devoted to us and we are still struggling to come to terms with his death. It was a complete shock to find out he was suffering with mesothelioma and that it is caused by exposure to asbestos.

“The fact that he may have been exposed to the substance that caused his mesothelioma growing up in Armley or going to work every day to provide for his family just added further insult to injury.

“I just hope anyone at the factory who worked with Frank or knew him growing up in Armley gets in touch as they may have the vital answers we need to be able to come to terms with what has happened.”

Anyone who thinks they might have relevant information on working conditions at Wilson & Mathieson’s or how Frank may have been exposed to asbestos living in Armley should contact Lucy Andrews on 0113 394 6782 or email a href="Lucy.Andrews@IrwinMitchell.com">Lucy.Andrews@IrwinMitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.

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