2 July 2020 | Firm news | Article by Lucy Strong

Widow of Welsh industry worker speaks out about asbestos-related cancer for “Action Mesothelioma Day”

The widow of a Welsh industry worker, who died from asbestos-related cancer, has spoken of her heartache, to raise awareness of the incurable disease, for Action Mesothelioma Day on Friday (3 July).

Oliver Royston (‘Roy’) Clift was exposed to asbestos while working at two stalwarts of Welsh industry – the National Coal Board and Ford Motor Company - spanning 6 decades.  He worked for both organisations at a time when the dangers of asbestos were well known to the ‘powers that be’ in industry. 

While working for the National Coal Board, between 1945 and 1966, Roy worked at Nantewlaith, Duffryn Rhondda and Caerau collieries as a fitter. It’s alleged that Roy was required to work on asbestos brake pads found on diesel locomotives and remove pipe work which was clad with asbestos. 

Between 1966 and 1991, Roy worked at the large Ford site in Swansea. During this time, it’s contended that Roy regularly came into contact with asbestos-lagged pipe work. 

Cardiff based Solicitors, Hugh James, helped Roy’s family secure a six figure settlement in May, from the National Coal Board and Ford Motor Company. It’s a bittersweet, but important, achievement.

Roy’s widow, Sadie Clift said today:

It was a complete and utter shock. We realised Roy had worked with asbestos in the past, but didn’t realise how dangerous it was.  He became short of breath and, within a matter of weeks, his condition deteriorated rapidly and he passed away before we really had time to come to terms with it. It's heart-breaking to be honest. The compensation won’t bring Roy back, but it will make my life a little easier.

Lucy Strong, Partner at Hugh James, said today:

The most recent data confirms that 263 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma in Wales between 2016 and 2018 and the number continues to increase year on year. It’s clear that those in Wales continue to pay a heavy price for our industrial past and we continue to help those who were negligently exposed to asbestos in heavy industry, such as Roy.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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