Former Workers At Metal Box Ltd Asked To Come Forward
A grandmother-of-four from East London has issued an emotional appeal for information about how she contracted the asbestos-related cancer which looks set to claim her life.
Violet Newton was diagnosed with the mesothelioma, a form of terminal cancer which often develops decades after exposure to hazardous asbestos.
Following her diagnosis the 69-year-old from Upminster instructed expert asbestos related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her case and help her discover how she came to develop the illness.
Violet’s legal team at Irwin Mitchell is now seeking more information regarding whether her contact with asbestos may have occurred during her employment at Metal Box Ltd’s Great Guildford Street factory in Southwark between 1966 and 1980.
Expert Opinion“Violet and the rest of her family are understandably devastated by her diagnosis and have a number of questions how she may have been exposed to asbestos.
“While medical staff sadly cannot do anything for Violet with regards to curing her cancer, we at least hope we can provide Violet and her family with the vital answers and also help her receive quality care and treatment she deserves.
“Therefore we would appeal for anyone with information about working conditions at Metal Box Ltd, particularly the Great Guildford Street site, to come forward and help Violet and her family.” Ian Bailey - Partner
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Violet noticed she was beginning to struggle with problems including breathlessness during the early months of 2018. Following a series of tests it was then confirmed in July that she had mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung linked to asbestos exposure.
Violet, the eldest of seven children, grew up in Bermondsey. Her parents, George and Violet Sturgeon, worked for Metal Box. She joined the company in 1966 as an apprentice finisher based at Great Guildford Street. While the company produced food packaging, the Great Guildford Street factory focused on manufacturing paper goods and her work related to preparing cheques for a range of banks.
She recalled: “The site was a huge premises which contained a host of large machines and several floors, yet it always felt very dirty and cramped. Pipework ran through the factory and this had been insulated. Looking back, I’m fairly sure now that this was asbestos insulation.
“A whole maintenance team was responsible for looking after the pipes and machinery, and lots of dust was released whenever the pipes were damaged or disturbed. I also remember there was lots of dust visible in the air when old equipment was moved and replaced by newer, more modern machinery. This dust could well have contained asbestos fibres.”
Violet married Michael in 1978. Violet left Metal Box in February 1980, just before the couple had their first daughter, Michelle, in May of that year. Their second daughter, Julie, was then born in June 1981.
Violet started experiencing breathlessness in early 2018, particularly when walking. Following a number of appointments and tests she was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2018.
Discussing how mesothelioma has affected her, she said: “I am completely devastated by my diagnosis and found it shocking that it could well be linked to my working life.
“I continue to suffer from bouts of breathlessness and that is very hard to take, but for the most part my main concern is ensuring I spend enough time with Michael, my daughters and grandchildren, they have all been so supportive.
“I just feel that I deserve some answers regarding how this could have happened and whether it should have been avoided. I’d be grateful to anyone for their help.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact James Aiken at Irwin Mitchell on 0117 926 1528 or email firstname.lastname@example.org