Questions to be answered for local family who lost their beloved family member to an Asbestos related disease earlier this year

The devastated husband of a retired seamstress from Sunderland whose death was attributed to asbestos-related disease has appealed to her old colleagues to provide insight into how she could have come into contact with the lethal fibres.

Jean Davis died at the age of 81 at Sunderland Royal Infirmary in February, about 11 months after her diagnosis with mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lung lining suffered by many of those to have inhaled asbestos.

Senior coroner for Sunderland, Derek Winter, recorded at an inquest a week after her death that she passed away due to industrial disease.

A search for answers for Jean’s loved ones

 Gordon Davis, who was married to Jean for nearly 60 years, instructed specialist industrial disease lawyers at the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell to look into her illness and determine whether she could have been prevented from coming into contact with the deadly substance.

It is as part of these investigations that the legal firm is asking any former workmate of Jean during the period between 1972 and 1989 when she worked as a seamstress at the site of County Luxdon Laundry Ltd on Wycliffe Road, Sunderland to get in touch.

Mr Davis’s legal representative, Emma Tordoff, said: “Just a couple of months on from her death, Jean’s family remain understandably devastated by their loss, and are desperate to understand how she came to develop mesothelioma.

“We are determined to ensure that Jean’s loved ones gain justice regarding her death. We would be hugely grateful to anyone who may be able to shed further light on the presence of asbestos at this site and the working conditions that Jean would have generally faced.”

What is already known about Jean’s workplace?

County Luxdon Laundry was later known as De Mille Cleaners. Jean worked within the company’s pressing area, which some witnesses have already told Irwin Mitchell was very hot due to the presence of irons and presses.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that asbestos lagging was present on pipework near where Jean worked.

Mr Davis, 83, commented: “Losing Jean has been incredibly difficult for me and the entire family. She was a very proud and secretive woman, so many of the family only ultimately learned of her illness around Christmas time, when her condition had deteriorated.

“While nothing will ever change what has happened, we all just want to know whether her illness could have been prevented and whether more should have been done to protect her. If anyone could help, it would be hugely appreciated.”

Through the vast range of asbestos-related services that we provide here at Trident Asbestos Solutions, including asbestos management surveys, demolition surveys, asbestos testing and the removal of asbestos, we can help to maximise your peace of mind with regard to the safety of your premises. Phone us now, on 03333 441555, for your competitive quotation.

 

Persistently high level of asbestos deaths a reminder that it is not a problem of the past

Despite the complete ban on asbestos in the UK in 1999, the tragedy of disease arising from contact with the lethal substance has not gone away. This much was demonstrated by the recent release of figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that showed 2,523 people died from mesothelioma in 2017, with this cancer of the lining of the organs almost exclusively caused by sufferers inhaling asbestos fibres.

While this figure is similar to the numbers to have been reported over the past half-decade, it means that mesothelioma deaths remain at historic highs. Indeed, rates of mesothelioma – which is nearly always fatal – almost doubled between 1995 and 2017.

There are thought to be comparable numbers of people dying from asbestos-related lung cancers; however, the difficulty in establishing a cause for lung cancer makes this harder to accurately measure. In the meantime, the HSE has predicted that annual numbers will remain at their current levels for the remainder of this decade before it expects to see a decline.

The importance of precautions for today’s workers re-emphasised 

Although the sustained high level of mesothelioma deaths over the last few years can be largely attributed to occupational asbestos exposure that occurred many decades ago before the dangers of the material became fully known, it remains present in hundreds of thousands of buildings.

Furthermore, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and charity Mesothelioma UK have warned tradespeople and others potentially likely to encounter the substance to take precautions.

Asbestos continues to be a particular problem in schools, for example, as shown by the recent story that the Department for Education (DfE) has referred nearly 700 schools to the HSE due to concerns that they were failing to safely manage asbestos in their buildings.

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Whatever your requirements may be, our team here at Trident Asbestos Solutions can provide highly informed and skilled services from our offices dotted around the UK. Call 03333 441555 today, and we will be delighted to give you the benefit of a competitive quotation.

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