Family of Stroud Man who Died of Asbestos Related Cancer Appeal for Help

Widow wants to hear from people who worked at the former Fibrecrete or the Woodchester Industrial Estates during the 1980s and 90s

The family of a man who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for people who may have worked with him at either the former Fibrecrete or the Woodchester Industrial Estates to come forward with any information about how he came into contact with asbestos.

David Stallon from Eastcombe, Stroud, died less than a year after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma – a terminal illness that affects the lining of the lungs - at Cheltenham General Hospital on the 23rd of December 2019. He was just 66 years old.

The former maintenance worker and engineer had endured six cycles of chemotherapy before he sadly passed away on the 15th of November 2020, leaving behind his devastated wife Joan.

She has now instructed expert industrial disease lawyers at Simpson Millar to help determine when and where he was exposed to the deadly asbestos fibres, and whether more could have been done to protect him.

They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have information about the working conditions at Payne Plastics where he had worked between 1984 and 1993, or anyone who worked for any of the other businesses located at both the Chalford and Woodchester industrial estates during this time.

In the statement produced for his lawyers, he said he was regularly exposed to clouds of dust that he believed contained asbestos at both sites.

Speaking before his death, David described his working environment at Chalford as ‘dusty, cold and damp’, and that he regularly came into contact with asbestos building products that had been left around the site by the previous tenants, the asbestos building products business Fibrecrete Limited.

When working at Woodchester Industrial Estate as a practical engineer, he would oversee the cutting of the Asbestolux sheets and the bending of plastic on home-made heater bars.

He said that during the hotter months everything on the estate would be covered with a white film, with ‘asbestos dust swirling and blowing everywhere’. He claimed he was never warned of the dangers of cutting the Asbestolux sheets.

Speaking on behalf of the family their lawyer, industrial disease expert Helen Grady, from Simpson Millar, said: “Before his death Mr Stallon instructed us to investigate whether more could, and should, have been done to protect him from asbestos exposure during his working life.

“Sadly, he has now passed away without the answers he so desperately sought, but his wife and family are committed to carrying on his battle for justice.

“On their behalf we are now asking for anyone who worked at Payne Plastics Ltd between 1984 and 1993 to please come forward with information, or anyone else who worked at either the Charlford Industrial Estate or the Woodchester Industrial Estate with knowledge of the conditions at these sites. Likewise, if you had a family member who worked for the company at this time, please do get in touch.”

Helen continued that workplace negligence regarding employee exposure to asbestos has a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of people every year.

She said: “Mesothelioma alone contributes to 2,500 deaths annually and this is a figure that continues to increase and devastate the lives of victims as well as their families.

“While the dangers of asbestos have been known for many decades there are still, sadly, many people dying prematurely because of related illnesses, because they were not made aware of its presence and provided with protective equipment.

If you have any information, please contact Helen Grady at Simpson Millar on helen.grady@simpsonmillar.co.uk, or on 0345 357 9600.

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