The devastated family of a man who died from the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma have launched an appeal to discover when and how he came into contact with the deadly material, calling on his former work colleagues to come forward with any information.
Peter Malloy from St Helens, Merseyside, was 91 when he tragically died in January of this year, just days after he had received the shocking diagnosis at Whiston Hospital.
A terminal illness that affects the lining of the lungs, mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, which often happens decades before any symptoms appear.
He leaves behind his wife, Kathleen, and two sons, who remember him as a friendly and sociable man, with a passion for crown green bowling.
He had been a member of several local teams over the years including Queen’s Park, Alder Hey and the team at Triplex Safety Glass in St Helens where he had worked in various roles between approximately 1970 and 1989, including as an electrician’s mate.
At an inquest which took place in February it was confirmed that his death was caused by industrial disease, and his family have now appointed industrial disease experts at Simpson Millar to help investigate where and when he was exposed to the deadly dust, and to determine whether more could have been done to protect him.
His son, Graham, has also spoken out about their grief and is backing calls for anyone who may have worked with Peter during his career to reach out with information, particularly those who had worked with him at Triplex Safety Glass.
Speaking to his family before his death, Peter had recalled that during his time with the Merseyside company he had used asbestos gloves in order to handle hot glass in the factory, which produces toughened and laminated glass often seen on vehicle and aircraft windscreens.
Remembering his conversations with his father, his son, Graham, said: “I remember my father saying that he came into contact with asbestos while he worked at Triplex, and that the workers there would clap their hands with the asbestos gloves on to remove dust and debris from them which would cause asbestos fibres to go into the air.
“He didn’t really think too much of it at the time, but then about 7 years ago, he went for a routine chest x-ray and was told they had found evidence of asbestos exposure in his lungs. The Hospital said there was nothing to worry about at the time, which is why it was such a shock to get the diagnosis in January 2022 that he had mesothelioma”.
“Due to Covid he was limited on visitors at the hospital, which was really difficult to cope with, as I, and many other members of my family, didn’t get to say goodbye properly."
"He passed away just days after being admitted, and we have been left us with so many unanswered questions and are desperate to hear from anyone who might have information about asbestos and my father’s working conditions throughout his working life."
The family’s solicitor, Anthony Waddington from Simpson Millar’s industrial disease team, is now appealing for witnesses on the family’s behalf. He said: “Mesothelioma is a truly awful disease which causes a lot of pain for the victim, as well as resulting in much heartache for the families.
“This case is particularly tragic, as Mr Malloy sadly passed away within days of his diagnosis.
“The family are now desperate for answers as to where and when he encountered the deadly dust, and we would really like the opportunity to speak to anyone who worked at Triplex Safety Glass between 1970 and 1989 about anything they remember during this time.”
Sadly, workplace negligence regarding employee exposure to asbestos continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of thousands of people every year.
Anthony added: “Mesothelioma alone contributes to roughly 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 were not provided with protective equipment."
Industrial Disease Solicitor
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