Asbestos victim appeals for supporting witnesses

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Asbestos victim appeals for supporting witnesses

23rd June 2009

A Devon man has made an appeal for former colleagues to come forward and help in his fight for justice, after his exposure to asbestos led to him developing lung cancer.

David Edwards, 69, of Bideford, started to suffer with breathlessness at the end of last year. Having previously been able to cycle for 10 miles each day, Mr Edwards was surprised when it became difficult for him to even walk to his car without being out of breath.

When he saw a doctor about his breathing difficulties in April this year, he was shocked to be told he was suffering from asbestos-induced lung cancer and asbestosis.

Mr Edwards was exposed to asbestos in 1976, when he worked on the building of the new Barnstaple Hospital (North Devon District Hospital). He was employed by a ceiling company - based in either Sidmouth or Exmouth - to install suspended ceilings, fitting ceiling tiles which were made of asbestos.

Now Mr Edwards' solicitor is hoping former colleagues or other witnesses will be able to help him in his fight for compensation, by confirming the details of his case.

Susan Dawson, an industrial disease specialist with Fentons Solicitors, said: "It takes many years after exposure to asbestos before any related disease becomes apparent.

"This can make finding witnesses and information about the employer very difficult. Unless we can locate the company Mr Edwards worked for, and prove that he was exposed to asbestos from the ceiling tiles, Mr Edwards may go uncompensated for the fact that he has developed this dreadful illness."

* If you remember working alongside David Edwards, you were part of the construction team working on the hospital, or think you can help in any way, please call Susan Dawson on 0844 854 3096 or e-mail

Media coverage - North Devon Journal