Wakefield: Great grandfather in mesothelioma fight seeks justice

Percy Bowers.
Percy Bowers.
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A great-grandfather struck down by a rare asbestos-related cancer is hoping former factory worker colleagues can help his fight for justice.

Percy Bowers, 91, is suffering from mesothelioma, which he believes was caused during his 49-year career at Charles Roberts railway tanker factory in Horbury near Wakefield.

The condition causes fluid on the lungs and breathlessness.

Mr Bowers, pictured, is being treated at a specialist care facility, which means he has been separated from his 89-year-old wife Margaret.

The great grandfather-of-seven has instructed expert industrial illness lawyers from Irwin Mitchell in his battle for justice.

He is now appealing for ex-work colleagues to come forward with information about the working conditions he endured at the factory, which was taken over by US firm Proctor Engineering in 1974.

James Hemming, from Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, said: “Percy’s case is unique because he was employed at the same company for his entire working life, so we would like to know more about why his only employer didn’t do more to protect him from the harmful effects of asbestos.

“I’m sure he was a familiar face and well known by his colleagues at Charles Roberts and we hope his colleagues repay the dedication he showed to the company by helping us investigate the conditions at the factory so we can help him get the justice he deserves.”

Mr Bowers, who lives in Ossett, was just 14 years old when he started working for Charles Roberts, in 1935, and was initially responsible for building and refurbishing railway tankers and carriages.

The firm later built tanks for the Second World War.

Mr Bowers’s son Graham said: “It’s been absolutely devastating for us to see dad suffer from such a horrible illness like mesothelioma.

“We feel angry that his health has taken such a dramatic turn for the worse simply because he went to work every day at the factory.”

Anyone who worked at Charles Roberts between 1935 and 1984 is asked to contact James Hemming on 0113 394 6777 or email: james.hemming@irwinmitchell.com

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