Man died of cancer after asbestos contact

Ray Brookfield
Ray Brookfield

A firm of solicitors is appealing for people who may have come into contact with asbestos at work following the death of a Bicester man.

Lorry driver Raymond Brookfield died in January this year of mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-related cancer, caused by being exposed to the deadly substance as a younger man.

After suffering health problems, he was forced to give up work in May 2015 and one month later was diagnosed with the disease. An inquest held in April concluded that Ray was a victim of industrial disease.

Ray’s devastated family have instructed expert industrial disease lawyers Irwin Mitchell to investigate exactly how he came into contact with toxic asbestos fibres. Mesothelioma causes approximately 2,500 deaths every year.

Ray’s wife Doreen is appealing to her late husband’s former colleagues at Banbury Buildings Ltd and Compton Buildings Ltd to come forward and help the family piece together how Ray came into contact with asbestos.

In the 1970s Ray worked for Banbury Buildings Ltd where he delivered pre-fabricated garages, and Compton Buildings Ltd where he assembled them. Parts of these buildings, including the roofs, were made from asbestos.

Ray worked for Banbury Buildings Ltd in Adderbury, between 1970 and 1971 and again from 1973 to 1974. In 1975 he took a job as a labourer at Compton Buildings Ltd.

His son Gary, 56, also a lorry driver, said: “We are all devastated by his death and knowing exactly how he came to be exposed to asbestos would answer a lot of questions that have troubled us since he was diagnosed.”

Iain Shoolbred, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Ray’s wife, Doreen, said: “Ray intended to work for as long as he could.

“Sadly he was prevented from doing that, when, shortly before being given his diagnosis, he grew too weak to continue the job he loved.

“The dangers of asbestos dust were well known years before Ray was exposed to the fibres. The first Asbestos Regulations, to manage the use of asbestos because of its danger to health, became law in 1931, so to learn that Ray was exposed to the fibres as late as the 1970s has been very upsetting for his family.

“Typically those whom are exposed to asbestos, like Ray do not develop cancer for decades after they initially come into contact with it.

“This can mean that the help of former colleagues can be invaluable in investigating the circumstances of their employment.

“We are appealing to anyone who may have worked with him directly or at either of the two companies in the 1970s to come forward with any information, no matter how small, they may have on the working conditions there.”

Anyone with any information should contact Iain Shoolbred at Irwin Mitchell on 0121 214 5446 or by emailing Iain.Shoolbred@IrwinMitchell.com