Daughter makes appeal to fatherís former colleagues

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Daughter makes appeal to fatherís former colleagues

9th January 2012

The daughter of a Brighton man who died from an asbestos-related cancer is appealing for her father’s former colleagues and friends to come forward and help in her fight for justice.

Clifford John Huggett, 69, died from Mesothelioma – an asbestos-related terminal lung disease – in April 2011 after being exposed to the deadly material more than 40 years ago. Now his daughter Tracey is hoping anyone who used to work alongside her father will come forward with vital information.

“My Dad was first exposed to asbestos in 1962 when he worked at Shoreham Docks as a dockworker,” said Ms Huggett, 32. “After he left the docks he worked as a plasterer and labourer installing asbestos insulation boards in various schools. Between 1965 and 1967 he worked for a company known as Doric Asbestos Manufacturing, which has now been dissolved, and from 1972 until 1973, he worked in a similar position for a company called Brighton Asbestos Manufacturing.

“My Mum told me that from the day they met in 1969, Dad was concerned about his health,” said Ms Huggett of Oxshott, Leatherhead. “She said that although he was never one to complain, he was worried right from the beginning that all the asbestos dust he was being exposed to might make him ill.

“When I was around eight years old in the late 70s, I remember dad describing how he used to come home from work covered from head-to-toe in grey asbestos dust,” she added. “He would say: ‘You’ll be alright when I’ve gone, I’ve got asbestos.’ I didn’t know what he meant at the time and I never thought to ask him.

“Dad was always coughing,” continued Ms Huggett. “He used to put it down to smoking but when he gave up at the age of 40 - more than 20 years before he died - the coughing never stopped.

“Dad started losing a lot of weight in 1999,” she said. “His symptoms gradually got worse over the next few years but it was in November 2009 when his condition really began to deteriorate. After having his lungs drained of fluid several times, he was admitted to Guys Hospital in London at the end of March 2011, but he died a week later. It was only after his death that doctors discovered that he had been suffering with Mesothelioma. Virtually every case of Mesothelioma is due to previous asbestos exposure.”

Nick Greaves, an industrial disease expert at Fentons Solicitors LLP, representing Ms Huggett said: "It takes many years after exposure to asbestos before any related disease becomes apparent, which can make finding witnesses and information about previous employers very difficult. The problem we now face is while we believe Mr Huggett was exposed to asbestos in at least three different jobs, we now need former colleagues and friends to corroborate that.

“It is very important to the family of Mr Huggett that anyone who knew him or who can remember working alongside him comes forward,” added Mr Greaves. “We know he used to visit various pubs with his friends throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. These included The Sterling and The Downsman in Hove and The Edinburgh, The Duke of Wellington, The Crescent and The Yeoman, all in Brighton. Unless we can prove that he was exposed to asbestos during his time as a dockworker and plasterer, his family may go uncompensated for the fact that they lost a loving husband and father to such a terrible illness.”

Can you help?

If you remember working alongside Clifford John Huggett at Shoreham Docks between 1962 and 1964 or Doric Asbestos Manufacturing between 1965 and 1967 or Brighton Asbestos Manufacturingbetween 1972 and 1973, please contact Nick Greaves on 0207 092 2800 or e-mail nick.greaves@fentons.co.uk.