Family seeks advice over man's death

THE devastated family of a granddad who died of possible asbestos exposure after working at three now defunct Hartlepool firms are seeking legal advice over his death.

Hartlepool man Henry Carr died just three months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma aged 76.

His family have now instructed a solicitor to look into whether his health condition, which also included pleural plaques and pleural fibrosis, was linked to exposure to asbestos.

Mr Carr said before his death that some of his workmates were so oblivious to the devastating effects of the substance that they would make snowballs out of the killer fibres.

His daughter, Suzanne Carr-Smith, 41, who now lives in Buckinghamshire, has instructed industrial illness specialist law firm Irwin Mitchell to look into his case.

Mr Carr worked at three Hartlepool companies during his career, including the Central Marine Engine Works at William Gray Shipyard, from 1948 to 1953, Head Wrightson Stampings, in Brenda Road, from 1960 to 1965, and at South Durham Steel and Iron Co, from 1966 to 1984.

These companies no longer operate and cannot be claimed against, but Isobel Lovett, of Irwin Mitchell, says claims could be made against insurance companies linked to his previous employers.

She said: "Although nothing we do can bring Mr Carr back, we are attempting to secure justice for his family.

"We need to hear from anyone who may have worked at any of these companies at the same time as Mr Carr, whether they knew him or not."

The dad of two, who had four grandchildren, who spent all his life in Hartlepool, lived in Sands End Crescent, Honiton Way, and Paignton Drive at the time of his death.

In a written witness statement left before he died, Mr Carr said: "I wore my own overalls to work and looked like a snowman at the end of each day as the asbestos powder would be in my hair, all over my overalls and on my skin."

His daughter, who moved away from Hartlepool in the mid-1990s, said: "My father was taken so quickly and we were all devastated. He had been diagnosed with pleural plaques five years ago, but he first noticed mesothelioma symptoms from early 2009. His condition worsened quickly and he struggled to get around the house.

"He had a stairlift installed, and needed a reclining chair otherwise he couldn't sit comfortably. He became unable to walk the dog or do work around the house.

"Instead of being able to enjoy a long and happy retirement, my father grew painfully ill very quickly.

"He did nothing but work hard to provide for his family his whole life yet has been taken from us prematurely."