Widow trying to find justice for husband

Tony Willis
Tony Willis

The widow of a former Northampton carpenter has launched an appeal to help her win justice for her late husband.

Rita Willis wants to track down former workmates of her late husband, Tony, to confirm how and when he came into contact with lethal asbestos fibres that led to his death from mesothelioma in June 2010. He was 70.

Mrs Willis is uncertain when Tony may have been exposed to asbestos in the course of his work, but three possible sources have been identified by specialist asbestos lawyers at law firm, Shoosmiths.

Mr Willis worked from approximately 1967–1975 at Adkins & Shaw (Buildings & Contractors) Limited, which later became Bacal Construction (Midlands) Ltd and then Bacal Construction Ltd. From 1975–1976 he worked at David Charles Construction (Northampton) Ltd, and from 1976 onwards he was employed by French Kier Construction Ltd. Mrs Willis is anxious to hear from anyone who worked with her husband who can say whether these companies used asbestos and whether he may have been routinely exposed to it in the course of his work.

He was always employed as a carpenter until 1982 when he became a foreman and it is likely he would have been required to cut asbestos boards as part of his job, a common practice in the years before the dangers of exposure to asbestos fibres were understood.

Mrs Willis, who lives in Northampton, said her husband had been active and healthy which made it more difficult to accept his deterioration due to contracting mesothelioma, a terminal cancer that presents symptoms decades after the inhalation of the asbestos fibres.

Sara Hunt, an asbestos-related legal expert with Shoosmiths, in Northampton, said: “Rita hopes that anyone who remembers working with Tony gets in touch as they may have the answers we need. This case is not just about compensation and financial security. She desperately wants information from Tony’s former workmates so she can come to terms with what has happened and achieve some sort of justice that recognises her late husband’s suffering”.

Anyone who thinks they might have relevant information can call Sara Hunt on 03700 864221 or email sara.hunt@shoosmiths.co.uk