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Family Of Power Station Worker Killed By Asbestos Disease Launch Appeal For Information

Loved Ones Join With Lawyers To Seek Answers Regarding His Illness

15.05.2019

Emma Bolton, Press Officer | +44 (0)114 294 7843

The devastated family of a former power station worker from Suffolk are appealing to his former workmates to come forward with information which will help them find answers as to how he died from an asbestos-related disease.

Derek Hockley died at the age of 79 in August 2016, just months after he was diagnosed with asbestosis, a rare long-term lung condition which develops around 20 to 30 years after prolonged exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.  He had suffered with symptoms of severe breathlessness for around two years prior to diagnosis.

Following his death, Derek’s wife Christine and family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his death and ascertain how he was exposed to the hazardous substance.

As part of their enquiries, the legal experts are keen to hear from anyone who worked with Derek during his employment in the 1960s and 70s.  In particular, information is being sought on the following employers – A Monk and Company Limited, and Taylor Woodrow Construction Company Limited.

Much of Derek’s work with A Monk and Company and Taylor Woodrow Construction Company in 1965/66 was based at Cliff Quay Power Station in the south of Ipswich, where he was part of the lagging and maintenance team.  The duties entailed would have led to extensive exposure to asbestos.

Expert Opinion
“Sadly, this case is like a huge number of cases we are involved in, with an individual going on to develop a very serious condition as a result of asbestos exposure which is believed to have occurred several decades ago.

We are determined to help our clients gain a greater understanding of how Derek developed this condition and whether more should have been done to help him.

A large part of this is shedding some light on the working conditions at Cliff Quay in the 1960s. Derek worked with a number of workmates, some doing similar work and others who carried out different tasks within close proximity and I would be hugely grateful if anyone who worked there at this time would come forward with any information they have.”
Samantha Shaw, Associate Solicitor

Christine recalled Derek talking about his work with asbestos during his time at Cliff Quay Power Station.

She said: “I remember how Derek told us about mixing asbestos in a bucket and then using it to lag pipework at the station.  Obviously at the time he would have been oblivious to the risks, but he even mentioned workers making it into snowballs and throwing it at each other too.

“It has been very difficult coming to terms with losing Derek, and the whole family misses him so much.  It was awful seeing him struggle with the symptoms of his illness, with his breathlessness meaning it was difficult for him to even get up the stairs in our house.

“We just feel that after the ordeal he went through we deserve justice and answers, so any help with information about Cliff Quay, no matter how big or small, would be hugely appreciated.”

Anyone with information that could assist with this case is asked to contact Samantha Shaw at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office on 01223 791 815 or e-mail samantha.shaw@IrwinMitchell.com.

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