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Family Seek Answers Regarding Former Hospital Cleaner’s Asbestos Cancer Death

Appeal For Information Regarding Rochdale’s Birch Hill Hospital To Coincide With Action Mesothelioma Day

05.07.2018

James Clarke, Press Officer | +44 (0)161 838 3169

The family of a former hospital cleaner from Rochdale who died two years ago from asbestos-related disease have joined with specialist lawyers to appeal for her old workmates to come forward and help them gain justice regarding her illness.

Veronica Taylor, passed away aged 84, in April 2016 around six months after she was first diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung which is linked to exposure to asbestos materials.

Veronica’s niece, Suzanne O’Neill, 55, is speaking out on Action Mesothelioma Day in the hopes that her aunt’s former colleagues will come forward to help her secure justice for Veronica’s death.

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. 

Following her death, her loved ones instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate Veronica’s illness and help them gain answers regarding how she came into contact with the material.

As part of their ongoing investigations, the lawyers are now seeking more information regarding the working conditions that Veronica may have faced during her time as part of the cleaning team at the now-demolished Birch Hill Hospital in Rochdale between 1981 and 1991.

During her decade as part of the cleaning team at Birch Hill Hospital, Veronica undertook a range of jobs including dusting, vacuuming and mopping. She was also involved in deep cleans across various parts of the site.

Dominic Hemsi, the Partner and asbestos-related disease specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office who is representing Veronica’s family, said: 

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“This is yet another case which highlights the tragic consequences that exposure to asbestos can have.

“Our clients remain desperate for answers regarding how Veronica’s illness emerged and we are determined to help them in their fight for justice. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to assist us by providing information regarding Birch Hill Hospital.”
Dominic Hemsi, Partner

Action Mesothelioma 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.

Veronica’s niece Suzanne O’Neill said: “It was devastating to lose my aunt and the entire family still wants answers regarding how she came into contact with asbestos.

“If anyone is able to provide information regarding the presence of the material at Birch Hill Hospital it would be hugely appreciated, as such detail could be an important step towards securing the justice that my aunt never got in her lifetime.”

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Dominic Hemsi at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office on 0161 259 1516 or email Dominic.Hemsi2@irwinmitchell.com.

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in asbestos-related disease cases.