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Devastated Widow Seeks Answers After Former Bricklayer's Asbestos Death

Appeal For Information Regarding Working Conditions At Consett Steelworks


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

The widow of a former bricklayer from Consett who died of an asbestos-related illness last year has joined with legal experts to call on old colleagues from one of his jobs to come forward and help her gain justice regarding his death.

Edward Hodgson Phillips, who was known as Eddie, passed away aged 74 on April 19th with a post-mortem stating that asbestosis, a serious lung condition caused by exposure to asbestos, contributed to his death.

His family have now instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his death, with the legal experts working to develop a clearer picture regarding how he came into contact with the material.

As part of their investigations, they are now appealing for anyone who worked with Edward at the Consett Steelworks during the early 1960s and the early 1970s to come forward and provide information on the presence of asbestos at the site.

Emma Tordoff, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office who is representing Edward’s widow Sandra, said: 

Expert Opinion
“Unfortunately we see all too often those, like Eddie, who have suffered from asbestos exposure.

“Through our initial investigations we have determined that Eddie’s exposure to asbestos is most likely to have occurred during his time at the Consett Steelworks, but we now need further information to help get the answers Sandra deserves.

“We would hugely appreciate any help in this matter and are focused on ensuring this family can gain justice.”
Emma Bell, Solicitor

Eddie was employed by Consett Iron Co Ltd during his time at the Consett Steelworks between 1962 and 1965 and again between 1969 and 1972. He was in the process of completing his apprenticeship when he first started work at the site.

His widow Sandra, 73, who he was married to for more than 50 years, said: “I can remember Eddie’s time working at the steelworks so clearly, particularly how he always used to leave work covered from head to toe in white dust. He would often visit my parents’ house after a shift so he could have a bath, as his parents didn’t have hot water.

“His job as a bricklayer meant he was responsible for building and repairing the furnaces at the site and this included lining them with asbestos. 

“He also told me how he would have to cut the sheets and blocks of insulation in order to do it, but as far as I am aware he was never warned of any dangers.

“It is only eight months since Eddie’s death and the whole family still misses him so much. We were devastated to learn of his asbestosis and feel we deserve some answers and justice regarding how it emerged. Any help would be hugely appreciated.”

Anyone with information which could assist this case is asked to contact Stephanie Wilson at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191 279 0095 or email Stephanie.Wilson2@IrwinMitchell.com

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