Sandy family’s appeal over asbestos death

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The family of a much-loved Sandy man who died of asbestos-related disease have teamed up with lawyers to call on his local community to come forward and help them gain justice.

Richard Smith, who was a well-known figure in the town due to his part-time DJ-ing at events ranging from school discos to birthday parties, died aged 64 in January 2016, just three months after he was first diagnosed with mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung associated with asbestos exposure.

Following his death, his family instructed specialist asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came into contact with the material and help them gain answers regarding his illness.

The legal experts are keen to gain more information regarding whether Richard may have come into contact with asbestos during his time working at Potton Timber and Engineering in the 1960s and 1970s.

Alexia Kapranos, at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, said: “Richard was a huge personality who had a great impact on his local community and two years on from his death his family remain devastated by their loss.

“They are desperate for answers as to how he came into contact with asbestos and we would be hugely grateful to anyone who may have information regarding the material in relation to Potton Timber and Engineering. Any detail no matter how small could make a major difference to this case.”

As well as being a father-of-four, Richard was a grandfather to 14 and a great grandfather of one. Around 300 people attended his funeral.

His daughter Paula, said: “The whole family miss Dad so much every day and the lack of answers regarding how he developed mesothelioma has made our efforts to come to terms with the loss much harder.

“Mum always referred to him as the life and soul of the party and he truly was, with so many people across Sandy and beyond enjoying his DJ-ing and general work within the community.

“We would be incredibly grateful to anyone in the local area or further afield who may have information regarding the working conditions at Potton Timber and Engineering and could help us in our search for answers.

“We are determined to get justice in Dad’s memory.”

> Anyone with information is asked to contact Alexia Kapranos at Irwin Mitchell’s London office on 0207 421 3903 or email alexia.kapranos@irwin
mitchell.com