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Settlement For Widow Of Cumbria Shipyard Worker Who Developed Three ‘Devastating’ Asbestos Diseases

Wife Marks Workers’ Memorial Day To Campaign To End Use Of Dangerous Substances


Andrew Hewitt, Press Officer | 0114 274 4255

The widow of a Cumbria man who died of asbestos-related cancer is urging employers to put safety first after lawyers secured her a settlement in relation to her husband’s death.

Former shipyard joiner Peter Cain died aged 82 around seven months after he first developed symptoms of mesothelioma - a form of terminal lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Peter’s mesothelioma was the third time he had contracted an industrial disease because of asbestos exposure while working at Barrow-based Vickers Armstrong Ltd and several of the company’s successors, including BAE Systems Marine Ltd.

Irwin Mitchell had previously supported the father-of-three and grandfather-of-three after he was diagnosed with lung disease, asbestosis, having also been diagnosed with asbestos related pleural plaques years before. 

The terms of the previous agreements allowed for more support to be secured if Peter developed further related conditions.

It has now been confirmed that his widow Mayworth will receive a six-figure settlement regarding Peter’s mesothelioma. It will help cover the cost of medical treatment towards the end of Peter’s life. As part of the settlement Irwin Mitchell also recovered costs for St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston, which cared for Peter before his death.

Following the news, Mayworth, 77, of Dalton-in Furness, is using Workers’ Memorial Day and its theme of ‘dangerous substances: get them out of the workplace’ by reminding employers of the huge risks that asbestos can pose.

Expert Opinion
“We often see the terrible legacy of asbestos exposure through helping support people diagnosed with an industrial disease. However, for somebody to be cruelly diagnosed with three different illnesses all linked to the material is extremely rare.

“This case vividly highlights the devastating dangers of asbestos and how, for a number of years, Peter’s health and quality of life continued to diminish as a consequence of his exposure, until ultimately, it caused his death.

“While we are pleased to have helped Mayworth secure a settlement regarding the mesothelioma, such a case must serve as an important reminder as to why safety around asbestos is absolutely paramount.”
Oliver Collett, Senior Associate Solicitor

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling asbestos-related disease cases  

Peter was married to Mayworth for 59 years. The couple had three daughters, Joann, 56, Andreé, 53, and 50-year-old Nicola.

Peter worked for Vickers Armstrong Ltd and its array of successor companies, including BAE Systems Marine Ltd, in Barrow-in-Furness at different points from 1949 to 1961.

Peter was diagnosed with pleural plaques in the 1980s and asbestosis in 2007.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma at the end of 2015. He died in July 2016.

Mayworth said: “Peter may have died in 2016 but asbestos cast a shadow over his life many years before that when he was first told he had pleural plaques.

“For years he tried to carry on the best he could but he was never the same. To be then told for a third time that he had been diagnosed with industrial disease and that this time it was terminal was heartbreaking.

“It was terrible watching him suffer in the final months of his life. Towards the end he was just like a bag of bones. He wasn’t the loving and caring husband and dad we had known for years.

“We all miss Peter terribly and there is not a day goes by where we don’t think of him.

“Asbestos is a truly awful substance and it is shocking to think how freely it was once used in so many different work environments. The dangers of the material can never be underestimated and it is vital that current employers never ignore the risks it can pose.”

Workers’ Memorial Day is on Sunday, 28 April, and is a day to ‘remember the dead and to fight for the living’ by paying respects to those who have died as a result of their employment. The day campaigns to improve health and safety standards in the workplace, and increase protection in place for employees.