Daughter's plea for help after Former Leeds Vickers Oils worker's asbestos related cancer death

The daughter of a former Leeds Vickers Oils worker who died from asbestos-related cancer is asking his former colleagues for help.
Derek Wales pictured with his wife AnneDerek Wales pictured with his wife Anne
Derek Wales pictured with his wife Anne

Father-of-three Derek Wales, from Cottingley, was diagnosed with mesothelioma on November 8 2016 and died nine months later, aged 72.

Mesothelioma is a terminal cancer caused by exposure to harmful asbestos, often dust decades before the diagnosis is made.

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Shortly before his death Derek, a widower following the death of his wife Anne in 2013, instructed a team of expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where he had been exposed to the deadly asbestos dust and fibres which caused his illness.

His daughter, Elaine Reardon, said: “We were unable to get justice for him while he was alive but I am determined to succeed in getting justice for him now.”

Elaine’s legal team believe that Derek was exposed to harmful quantities of asbestos dust and fibres while employed at Benjamin R Vickers & Sons Ltd, also known as Vickers Oils.

She is appealing for former colleagues who worked with him at the firm’s base on Clarence Road, Leeds, between 1973 and 1979 to come forward with any information of the working conditions.

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Lucy Andrews, the expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Elaine, said: “We believe that Derek was substantially exposed to asbestos while working for Vickers Oils due to the pipework being lagged in asbestos.

“We are continuing to work with Elaine as she carries on her father’s fight for justice to confirm where he was exposed to asbestos. We urge any of Derek’s former colleagues to come forward with any information about the working conditions at Vickers Oils as this will help our investigation.”

She is also looking to speak to anyone who used to live near Derek on Dulverton Grove, Leeds.

Lucy added: “Through our investigations, we have come to believe that Derek could have potentially been exposed to asbestos at his home.

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"There have been several asbestos surveys carried out at properties in the area, and we are aware of asbestos being removed from a number of these locations.

“We are very keen to speak to people who lived or currently live in properties on Dulverton Grove as we try and establish the source of Derek’s asbestos exposure.”

Elaine said: “It was heart-breaking seeing the dad’s health deteriorate following his diagnosis.

“I only hope that some of dad’s former colleagues or neighbours will come forward and contact my legal team at Irwin Mitchell with any potential information they may have.

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"Any information could help me to get justice for dad and ensure those responsible for his exposure to asbestos are held to account.”

Anyone who worked with or lived near Derek and can provide any information is asked to contact Lucy Andrews at Irwin Mitchell on 0113 394 6782 or by email at [email protected]