The heartbroken family of a former chemical plant worker are appealing for his former colleagues to come forward to help them understand how he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres, which caused him to develop mesothelioma, a terminal cancer that affects the lining of the lungs.
Charles Ivor Reeves, known as Charlie and Ivor, from Thornton Cleveleys, died aged 81 after a short battle with the terminal illness, which his family believes may have been caused by his exposure to asbestos dust and fibres during his working life decades earlier.
Charles, who was married to his wife Joan for 36 years, worked for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) at its Thornton Cleveleys plant for almost 30 years, from 1961 until 1990.
After his death, his grandson, Carl Palmer, 36, from Blackpool instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he came into contact with the substance and if more could have been done to protect him and his colleagues from the substance.
Carl is now appealing to his grandfather’s former colleagues ahead of Action Mesothelioma Day, a national awareness day that takes place on Friday 1 July. The day is intended to bring together those affected by mesothelioma and to raise awareness of the impact the disease, which is caused by asbestos, can have.
Charles worked as a chemical process worker at ICI’s Thornton Cleveleys plant. He never had the opportunity to tell his family about the details his working conditions and how he came into contact with asbestos because of the brief period between diagnosis and his untimely death.
Now, with the backing of their legal team, Charles’ family is appealing to those who worked alongside him at the plant over his 30 years of service to come forward with any information they may have as to how Charles may have been exposed to asbestos at the site.
Katrina London, a specialist asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:
Expert Opinion“Asbestos exposure can have terrible consequences for those unfortunate enough to come into contact with dust and fibres on a regular basis.
“Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive form of cancer that can take decades to show symptoms, which in many cases, like this one, means victims have grown older and can find it difficult to pinpoint exactly where and when they were exposed.
“We know from experience that those who worked in industry, where asbestos was commonly used to lag pipework, were often exposed when lagging fell into a state of disrepair and was disturbed during regular maintenance and annual shut down periods. We have represented many other men who worked in ICI plants who were exposed to asbestos from removal of lagging on pipes or from working next to laggers.
“Charles’ family do not have much information about his working life and do not know how he may have come into contact with asbestos so they are appealing to anyone who worked with him to come forward with any information they have, no matter how small, about his working life and any contact he had with asbestos." Katrina London - Senior Associate Solicitor
Charles’ grandson Carl said: “It was terrible to see my grandad in so much pain and distress caused by the mesothelioma he was diagnosed with. When we found out the disease was caused by asbestos exposure it added insult to injury as he could have been provided equipment to prevent him inhaling the substance.
“We want to know how he came into contact with asbestos, which we believe happened during his time at ICI, and if more could have been done to warn him of the risks he was being exposed to and to prevent him from inhaling the substance that caused him to develop such a terrible disease decades later.”
Anyone with information on working conditions at ICI’s Thornton Cleveleys plant should contact Claire McKay on 0161 838 3181 or email Claire.McKay@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.