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Loved Ones Join With Lawyers To Seek Answers Regarding Former Darts Player's Asbestos Death

Appeal For Information On Working Conditions At Perkins Engines


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

The friends and family of a former factory worker and darts player from Peterborough who died of asbestos-related disease last year have joined with specialist lawyers to call on his old workmates to come forward and help them gain answers regarding how he came to develop the illness.

Peter William Dowse passed away aged 68 in June 2018, around nine months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung which is most commonly associated with exposure to asbestos-related materials.

Following his death, his close friend Ian Greenfield instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office to investigate Peter’s illness and whether it could be related to asbestos exposure which is thought to have occurred during his working life.

Now, as part of their ongoing investigations, the legal experts are looking to gather more information on whether Peter came into contact with the material during his time working as an assembly line worker for Perkins Engines Co between 1969 and 1981.

Samantha Shaw, the specialist asbestos lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Ian, said:

Expert Opinion
“Peter’s story is sadly like a great number of others we act for, with it revolving around an individual who has developed an asbestos-related condition many years after contact with the material is thought to have taken place.

“As Peter’s brother, Keith, lives abroad, his friend has volunteered to work on his behalf to try and get answers regarding how Peter ultimately developed mesothelioma.

“After assessing his work history, we believe it may have occurred at Perkins Engines and would appreciate it if anyone with knowledge of the company could provide further information.

“Any detail no matter how small could make a major difference to our efforts.”
Samantha Shaw, Associate Solicitor

Peter, a diabetic, had a history of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and had suffered with pneumonia prior to being diagnosed with mesothelioma. 

In 2017 he suffered from shortness of breath and frequent coughing, both symptoms linked to mesothelioma. After undergoing tests, multiple CT scans and x-rays, he was diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer in August 2017.

Irwin Mitchell understands that Peter’s work at Perkins Engines Co revolved mainly around working on the assembly lines in the engine finishing department. From speaking to others, the lawyers have learned that the factory was a large, open-place structure which employed in the region of 9,000 people.

Discussing how mesothelioma affected Peter, Ian Greenfield, 55, from Bourne, Lincolnshire, said: “Peter had a history of health issues in the final years of his life, but particularly suffered from shortness of breath and very severe coughing.

“After a range of tests it was confirmed that he had mesothelioma and it was very difficult to see how the illness ultimately went on to affect him.”

During the 1970s, Peter had been part of a group of darts players that had toured America with the British Darts Organisation. He was the captain of the Bourne team in the Lincolnshire Super League and a member of the Lincolnshire County team. 

While over in the States, Peter competed in the Golden Gates Classic in San Francisco, the North American Open in New York, and on the Queen Mary at Long Beach, California. 

At the time he described the imminent trip as a ‘trip of a lifetime.’

Ian added: “Pete absolutely loved his darts. He would often tell stories of the three-week trip over to America. They travelled a lot so he took in a lot of the American scenery and the trip stayed with him for the rest of his life.

“Pete was a big lover of cricket and he was honorary life member of the Bourne Cricket Club. He was involved as a wicket keeper in his younger days and toward the end of his time at Bourne Cricket Club he was involved with fundraising.

“Towards the end of his life, Pete developed an interest in horse racing. He was part owner of a couple of horses and enjoyed visiting their stables as well as watching them race.

“Friends and family are desperate to get answers to the questions they have regarding just how he developed the illness. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to help us get justice regarding his death.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Yasmin Jeffcoate at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office on 01223 791 1846 or email Yasmin.Jeffcoate@IrwinMitchell.com.

Read about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in mesothelioma claims.