Family of Priory Depot Worker appeals for Details of Working Conditions


5th April 2019

The son of a former Taunton Dean Borough Council worker who died from a terminal asbestos related cancer is appealing for any of his father’s ex-colleagues to come forward to give evidence on the working conditions.

Cyril Rowe, 64, from Taunton, Somerset tragically passed away in April 2018, just two months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. His family have concerns that he may have been exposed to asbestos whilst working at the Council’s Priory Depot between the years 1994 to 2016.

The once healthy, active father of three visited doctors in late 2017 after suffering from breathlessness. In February, he received the devastating news that he was suffering from incurable mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres.

After his diagnosis, Cyril instructed Industrial Disease Solicitors at national law firm Simpson Millar to investigate his employment history, and to help reach out to anyone that he had worked with at the council’s Priory Depot who might have further information regarding the presence of the asbestos in his workplace.

His son Adam Rowe continues his appeal in the hope that he will get answers with regards whether more could, and should, have been done to protect his father from this condition.

He said, “It was heart breaking when my father was diagnosed with mesothelioma early last year. Up until that point, he was very fit and healthy, doing a lot of running and working part time as a caretaker.

“In February 2018 he noticed breathlessness and was sent for an x-ray, tests and a CT scan. He had to have 3 litres of fluid drained from one of his lungs. He was so scared, and he wanted answers for why it had happened to him.

“Sadly, he passed away on the 16 April 2018, just two months after the diagnosis. My family and I are desperate for answers, and would urge anyone who worked with him during 1994 and 2016 to come forward to give evidence on the conditions.”

Working with Adam, Simpson Millar is now appealing to anyone who worked for Taunton Dean Borough Council during the same time, who can also describe the working conditions.

Adam added, “Before his death, he spoke often about his time working with the Council; often referencing the discovery of asbestos in the building and talking about how there was regular maintenance work carried out which resulted in the walls being drilled into which would likely have released asbestos dust.

“He also said that in or around 2012 there was maintenance and repair works when IT installed new cabling, but none of the team could be in the office as they were “disturbing something”, and therefore the work had to be done on a Saturday.

“After the work, nothing was mentioned about the air safety, and my dad said that with hindsight it was highly likely he was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres during this time, and that he and his colleagues were not properly protected against.”

Helen Grady, a Partner and Industrial Disease Solicitor at Simpson Millar said, “This is a deeply upsetting time for Cyril’s family, and they all deserve some answers as to why this exposure was allowed.

“We are looking into the exposure, and we are hoping to speak to any witnesses who have any information on the conditions when working for Taunton Dean Borough Council during the time that he worked there.”

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