03 February 2015
Appeal for Information about Asbestos Death near Blackpool
A daughter has appealed for information to try to solve the mystery surrounding her father’s death from contact with asbestos.
Lesley Bonney, 42, watched her father David wither away within weeks of being diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos materials.
But his family has enlisted law firm Slater and Gordon to try piece together information about how the former carpenter, of Fairhaven, Lytham St Annes, came into contact with the toxic substance.
Lesley has called on anyone who worked with the father-of-three, who died in October 2013 aged 72, to come forward and help shed light on the working conditions which sealed his fate years later.
Now the focus is on conditions at two of his former workplaces; Blackpool Pleasure Beach, where Mr Bonney was a carpenter and joiner for several years in the 1960s and the early 70s, and Bristol University where he worked from 1982 to 2000, eventually becoming head of maintenance.
Ms Bonney said, “Dad went down hill so quickly – it was quite shocking. He was an independent, active pensioner until he fell down some stairs and fractured his back in May 2013 and required surgery.
“After coming out of hospital his appetite began to wane. Within a couple of months he’d changed almost beyond recognition, he’d lost three quarters of his body weight. He’d lost all his energy. That’s when the doctors did some tests in September 2013 and diagnosed him with mesothelioma. That was the first time we’d heard of it.
“By that time, dad had deteriorated so much he wasn’t able to tell us much detail about exactly where and when he was exposed to asbestos. That’s why we are so keen to hear from anyone who worked with him so they can help put together the pieces of the jigsaw.
“I remember my mum saying that he’d come home from working at the pleasure beach covered in dust – a fine white powder which he said was asbestos. My mum would put his clothes in the twin tub washing machine each day, but they were so dirty the washer would clog up with the stuff.
“Dad was a qualified joiner and worked all over the pleasure beach during that time. He was responsible for a lot of construction work, especially in the Fun House.
“I understand that asbestos boarding was used as a fire retardant there and he would have sawn through it and drilled into it. My mum remembers my dad saying that asbestos was the material of choice there and he worked a lot with it. She doesn’t remember him mentioning anything about protective gear.
“He used to have to do a lot of lagging of the pipes around the ice skating rink.
“Dad started working at Bristol University in 1982 doing maintenance. He would have worked all over the site until he retired in 2000. He used to do anything requested such as carpentry, electrics, glazing, fixing vandalism around the property.
“There was a period after dad retired that we drifted apart. He divorced from mum and me and my brother had moved away and we didn’t really see much of dad. It was only in the last couple of years before his death that we started to factor dad into all our lives again.
“But then this terrible disease took him before we’d had to get the chance to get to know him.”
Slater and Gordon Asbestos Claims Lawyer, who is representing the family, said, “This disease destroys lives years or even decades after exposure to asbestos. We know that maintenance workers are frequently exposed to asbestos and if we can find witnesses who can confirm this at the places where Mr Bonney worked then we can seek justice on his behalf.
“We’re particularly interested in the conditions Mr Bonney worked in during his time at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the 1960s and early 70s, and Bristol University between 1982 and 2000.
“There should not be any time limit on justice. The dangers of working with asbestos have been known for decades and for Mr Bonney and any of his colleagues to have their lives cut short simply for doing their job is a tragedy.”
Anyone with any information please call Slater and Gordon Lawyers 24/7 on freephone 0800 884 0275 or contact us online.
Slater and Gordon are a leading asbestos claims law firm with offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Derby, Merseyside, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire & in Hull, Yorkshire.