Witness statement aids Coroner's conclusion of 'industrial-related disease' for ships' pipeman | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Witness statement aids Coroner's conclusion of 'industrial-related disease' for ships' pipeman

A witness statement prepared for a client diagnosed with mesothelioma a year ago was read out during the inquest into his death at Norfolk Coroner's Court.

82-year-old Francis Gray, who lived in Great Yarmouth, was an engineer who worked installing pipework around ships' engines for Brooke Marine Ltd in Lowestoft during the early 1970s. Sadly, Mr Gray died in February from the asbestos related cancer.

His statement, drafted with Andrew Morgan who is running his claim, included his memory of seeing white asbestos dust floating in the atmosphere and that he was never instructed to wear a mask while working. 

“I remember that there was widespread use of asbestos blankets. The asbestos blankets were in constant use, I would see them every day", Mr Gray said in his statement. 

“Brooke Marine was a dangerous place to work. There were a number of injuries in my relatively brief time there. It was this employment and no other that I was exposed to asbestos.” 

In its heyday, Brooke Marine was a major Lowestoft-based shipbuilding firm that also built boats for the RNLI. The first boat Mr Gray worked on was the deep-sea factory fishing vessel, the Gaul, which sank overnight in February 1974 during storms in the Barents Sea. 

Having heard Mr Gray's statement, Assistant Coroner Christopher Leach, concluded that Mr Gray died from an 'industrial-related disease'. 

Andrew Morgan is progressing Mr Gray's claim against the company's insurer on behalf of Mr Gray's family. 

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For further information about mesothelioma compensation claims, please call Andrew Morgan on 0330 460 6737 or email andrew.morgan@fieldfisher.com.


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