Family of Coventry asbestos victim takes up his fight for justice

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Family of Coventry asbestos victim takes up his fight for justice

13th September 2012

The family of a Coventry man who died from a painful cancer after being exposed to asbestos at work decades ago have appealed for help from former colleagues as they continue their fight for justice.

Frank Parker, of Oxendon Way, Ernesford Grange, was 73 when he died in June last year, 19 months after he was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma. Although Mr Parker was advised by his nurses to speak to solicitors before his death, he succumbed to his illness before he was able to take action against his former employers.

Now Mr Parker’s son Graham and daughter-in-law Adrienne are taking up his legal battle as they continue the fight for justice against those responsible for exposing him to asbestos.

“Frank trained as an electrician from leaving school in the early 50s,” said Mrs Parker, of Binley, who looked after her father-in-law throughout his illness. “He was an apprentice with Lee Beesley’s in Coventry from 1952 through to the mid-1960s, which included returning in 1961 after his National Service,” she said. “Then he worked for Abbey Panels in Exhall until 1974, before moving to Massey Ferguson, where he worked until he retired in 1990.”

Mr Parker retired from Massey Ferguson to care for his wife Shirley-Ann, who died from a lengthy illness in 1993. “Graham and I spent a lot of time with Frank after Shirley-Ann passed,” said Mrs Parker. “When he fell ill himself, one of the doctors said that mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos. But Frank died before he was able to bring a claim against his employers."

Lesley Mynett, a specialist industrial disease lawyer with Fentons Solicitors LLP, took on the case following Mr Parker’s death.

“Because Mr Parker sadly died before he was able to tell us about all the times he had worked with asbestos over the years, we are hoping his former colleagues will be able to provide the information his family needs in their fight,” said Miss Mynett, a partner with the firm. “We have so far learned that as an electrician at Massey Ferguson, Mr Parker would be part of the team carrying out maintenance during the factory’s regular shutdowns each year.

“We believe that during these shutdowns, Mr Parker would undertake rewiring work in the roof area. He would be working alongside the plumbers and engineers who would be carrying out repairs to pipe work which was aging and in need of maintenance,” said Miss Mynett. “Their work would involve removing the old asbestos lagging from this and carrying out maintenance, before it would then be re-lagged, and the air would be thick with asbestos dust and fibres.

“The dirt and dust from the asbestos and other maintenance work undertaken would then be brushed up or vacuumed up at the end of the maintenance period.”

Miss Mynett said she was now hoping to trace any colleagues who could provide further information about Mr Parker’s exposure to asbestos during his time at Massey Ferguson, who remembered working him or who can remember asbestos dust being prevalent in the areas in which he worked.

“Mr Parker has paid an enormous price for working dutifully,” she said. “Hopefully with the help of his former colleagues, we can hold those responsible to account and win some justice for the family he has left behind."

Can you help?
If you remember working alongside Frank Parker at Massey Ferguson in Coventry between 1974 and 1990, or if you worked with him during the earlier parts of his career with Lee Beesley or Abbey Panels, please contact Lesley Mynett on 0844 854 3095or e-mail All information will be treated in the strictest confidence, and any detail could be hugely important to this case.

Coventry Telegraph