Jane Smith Died Just Two Months After Mesothelioma Diagnosis
The partner of a Cadbury’s production line worker is appealing for information about working conditions at the Birmingham factory after her sudden death from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
Arthur Fey lost his partner of 24 years, Jane Smith in August 2015, just two months after she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer caused by exposure to harmful asbestos dust decades before.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive, and terminal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, often decades before victims begin to suffer with symptoms. According to the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) more than 2,500 people in the UK lose their lives to the disease every year.
Arthur instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after Jane told him she believed she may have been exposed to the deadly substance her work at Cadbury in Bourneville.
Irwin Mitchell is also investigating Jane’s time at Joseph Lucas, a British manufacturer of components for the motor industry and aerospace industry based in Birmingham, where Jane worked between 1962 and 1964.
The law firm is particularly interested in hearing from former workers at both Cadbury and Joseph Lucas, and especially anyone who may have worked with Jane.
Arthur, who lives in the home he shared with Jane, in Harborne, is making his appeal on Action Mesothelioma Day (July 7). The day aims to bring together victims of the disease, those who have loved ones affected by the disease, healthcare professionals, support groups and those working to understand the disease and find a cure, to ensure the public are aware of the terrible impact it can have on sufferers and their carers.
Mesothelioma is most commonly associated with heavy industry and the building trade and the vast majority of deaths from mesothelioma are in people over the age of 65. It is predicted that mesothelioma deaths will continue to rise every year before reaching a peak in about 2020.
Arthur said: “I’m desperate to hear from anyone who can tell me how Jane came into contact with asbestos.
“Her illness took hold so quickly, there was very little time to get answers. But Jane believed she came into contact with it when she worked at Cadbury, so if anyone who used to work with her, could get in touch it would mean a lot to me.”
Jane’s symptoms began around 18 months before her death when she was rushed to hospital with fluid on her lungs. A scan carried out after doctors had drained the fluid revealed a mass on her left lung.
The 72-year-old’s health deteriorated over the following six months during which a biopsy of the mass was carried out. She was told she had mesothelioma on June 9, 2015. The following month she moved to St Mary’s Hospice where she died on August 9, 2015.
Expert Opinion“Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and sadly, terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure decades before symptoms develop. We often see cases like Jane’s where victims were unaware they were battling mesothelioma until the very end of their lives.
“As a result they are sometimes unable to provide exact details of how and where they came into contact with asbestos, often leaving their loved ones with unanswered questions.
“The first Asbestos Regulations, to manage the use of asbestos because of its danger to health, became law in 1931, so to learn that people were exposed to the fibres much later is very upsetting for the individuals or the families who come to us.
"Anyone with information about working conditions at Cadbury in Birmingham or Joseph Lucas during the 1960s, particularly anyone who may remember working with Jane, should contact us as soon as possible, no matter how insignificant you feel your information may be.” Alida Coates - Partner
Anyone with information on the presence of asbestos at Cadbury or Joseph Lucas or with information on the warnings provided to staff about the dangers of asbestos should contact Alida Coates at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 5230 or email Alida.Coates@IrwinMitchell.com
Read more about the work of Irwin Mitchell's Asbestos Related Disease Team