The solicitor who heads Macks’ team of asbestos lawyers says the case of a widow who contracted mesothelioma from washing her husband’s overalls illustrates the widespread effects of the “hideous’ disease.
An inquest into the 2014 death of Saltburn woman Mary Pointer established that she died of mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Mrs Pointer, who was 86, is thought to have contracted the disease from inhaling asbestos from her late husband’s clothes. Anthony McCarthy, Macks’ Head of Industrial Disease Litigation, said: “Mrs Pointer’s tragic case shows that the hideous disease of mesothelioma is not just contracted by those who worked with asbestos, but can also affect those who had less direct contact, such as spouses and family members.”
Mrs Pointer’s husband, Ronal, worked at Marchwood Power Station, in Southampton, from 1955 to 1970. Newspaper reports said she washed and shook dust from his overalls and bedding every day and it is believed this is how the asbestos was able to get into her lungs.
Mrs Pointer began an asbestos compensation claim in relation to her asbestos exposure, which was continued by her son after she passed away.
He told the Evening Gazette: “It won’t just be affecting my mum, it will be affecting other people’s loved ones too.”
Cases of the disease being diagnosed many years after the victim has been exposed to asbestos are not unusual. In 2007, Charlie Cochran, from Acklam, Middlesbrough, was awarded £150,000 in compensation after contracting mesothelioma. He was exposed to asbestos while working in a Tyneside naval yard and later a chemical plant in Teesside. Cancer Research UK believes cases of asbestos related mesothelioma will continue to rise.