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Handyman Devastated By Asbestos Cancer Diagnosis Calls On Ex-Butlins Filey Colleagues For Help

Appeal For Information Regarding Rotherham Man’s Terminal Illness


Andrew Hewitt, Press Officer | 0114 274 4255

A former handyman battling terminal cancer linked to asbestos exposure has spoken of his race against time to establish if he was exposed to the hazardous material while working at the former Butlins holiday camp in Filey.

Robert Scarpelli has been left ‘devastated’ after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer which often develops decades after exposure to asbestos.

The 58-year-old of Maltby, Rotherham, has now instructed specialist expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his illness and help him determine how it was caused.

As part of its investigations Irwin Mitchell is investigating if the father-of-three was exposed to asbestos while working as a handyman at the former Butlins holiday camp in Filey. It is now calling on anyone who worked with Robert during his time at Butlins between 1980 to 1982 to come forward and help determine if his asbestos exposure could have occurred at the site.

Expert Opinion
“This is a shocking case because Robert has developed mesothelioma at what is a relatively young age for this form of cancer.

“Robert is understandably devastated by the diagnosis and we are determined to help him gain answers and access to vital financial support which will assist with his ongoing treatment needs.

“We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to help us with our investigations by shedding light on the conditions at the Butlins holiday camp in Filey at the time in question.”
Adrian Budgen, Partner

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

Robert was originally a kitchen porter when he first started work at Butlins in 1980, but he subsequently moved into maintenance work and became a handyman on the site. The camp eventually closed its doors in 1983.

He recalled: “The role involved a range of tasks from repairing locks and windows to roofing leaks. Quite often I would have to drill into walls and this would create lots of dust, while I would also board holes up with a material I thought was just plasterboard. Looking back, I am now unsure whether it may have in fact been asbestos.”

Robert developed serious breathing problems in the summer of 2018 and, following a chest X-ray, a significant amount of fluid was drained from his lungs. Further tests then confirmed that he had developed malignant pleural mesothelioma.

He added: “I was completely stunned to be diagnosed with mesothelioma and the illness has had a huge impact on my life.

“I have had a permanent tube fitted to drain fluid from my lungs and I am currently recovering from radical surgery to remove the lining of my lung called a pleurectomy. I have also had six cycles of chemotherapy. Some days the pain is unbearable and I am on morphine as I attempt to manage that.

“My life has just been completely turned upside down by this terrible diagnosis and I am now incredibly worried for the future; I just want to know what caused my illness before it’s too late.

“Any help with gaining answers regarding this would be hugely appreciated.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Adrian Budgen at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office on 0114 274 4371 or adrian.budgen@irwinmitchell.com