The family of a Bicester man has won an out of court settlement following their brother’s death from asbestos related cancer, caused by his work at builder’s merchants, Jewson.
Peter Wilkins of Marsh Gibbon, Bicester, died in March 2010, aged 82, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer – almost always caused by asbestos. He worked for Jewson at its saw mill in Launton where asbestos products were commonly used.
Brigitte Chandler, a lawyer with Wantage firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall and one of the UK’s leading specialists in industrial disease litigation, brought the claim against Jewson on behalf of Mr Wilkins’ brother and sister.
Jewson, now trading as United Builders Merchants Ltd, SGDB Property Holdings and Meyer 9 Ltd, agreed to settle the claim out of court at £70,000.
“Sadly Mr Wilkins’ case is typical of what is happening now,” she said. “Asbestos was widely used in the building industry in the 1960s and 70s and people who worked in the industry are now suffering as a result. The number of people dying from asbestos cancer is expected to peak in the next few years.”
Mr Wilkins, who lived alone, originally worked on the family’s dairy and arable farm until the age of 49 when he changed occupation and began working in the builders’ yard from 1976 -1993.
The mill had an asbestos roof and sides and Mr Wilkins frequently had to repair them. He also had to cut asbestos sheets to size for customers, saw asbestos guttering and sell asbestos pipes and water tanks. When he did this type of work, asbestos dust flew everywhere and he was given no protective clothing.
“Mr Wilkins was working with asbestos products well into the 1980s,” says Brigitte Chandler. “By then the dangers of working with asbestos were widely known.”
Swindon and South West Asbestos Group is a regional charity formed about 11 years ago, providing information and support groups for asbestos sufferers and their families.
For further information contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793-511055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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