A factory worker’s widow has started a legal battle for compensation in an asbestos-related case. Her husband – a Black Country plant worker – died recently after developing an industrial disease caused by inhalation of lethal asbestos fibers.
Ralph E Owen, of Toys Ln, Halesowen, was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a deadly cancer caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres, in a hospital in 2011 October. The man succumbed to the disease on 21st March when he was 61 years old.
Coroner Robin Balmain heard an inquest on 28th March and ruled that Owen’s death was caused by an industrial illness.
Realizing that he would die soon, Suspicious Owen started his own investigation into the conditions at 2 companies where he’d worked – Reliance Plating & Heat Treatment, from 1968 to 1976, and Archibald Kenrick & Sons, from 1984 and 1985. Reliance Plating is located in Wolverhampton and Archibald is located in W. Bromwich.
Owen’s widow Susan is now continuing the investigation to find out the truth with the assistance of a law firm that has office in Birmingham. Susan is 50 years old. Owen married her just one year ago.
Susan is now requesting her husband’s former colleagues who could provide her with additional details regarding how her husband came in touch with dangerous asbestos.
“Ralph’s mesothelioma diagnosis was a huge blow to both of us, denying us the future that we had planned together. Though I win the case, I know that won’t bring back my husband. However, Ralph wanted me to go ahead with the battle for justice,” she said.
“Before his tragic and early death, Mr. Ralph had been able to give us some valuable information regarding the working conditions at the 2 factories. Both the plants are no longer functioning,” Susan’s attorney said.
Reliance made electroplated steel tubes and used huge degreasing tanks for their production process. According to Ralph, the company used asbestos in the tanks because of its heat-resistant quality. Ralph had to crawl under the tanks where asbestos dust was often present on the floor, according to Susan’s attorney.
And, when working with Archibald, Ralph had jobs in the company’s powder coating factory. Ralph had told that old pipework in that factory contained asbestos. The pipework, when rattled with heat, sent asbestos dust clouds into the surroundings, the lawyer said.
For helping Susan, we would like to hear from Ralph’s colleagues who can provide us further details regarding how he inhaled asbestos fibers during his work, the attorney said.