Jacob’s biscuit factory in Merseyside is facing legal action over claims a former worker died after being exposed to asbestos within the factory.
Isabel O’Neill, 74, from Aintree, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Mrs O’Neil’s son is now suing the Jacob’s Biscuits factory on Long Lane, Walton, as he believes it was the source of her asbestos contamination.
Mr O’Neill, 52, commented: “My mum did suspect Jacob’s was where she came into contact with asbestos because a lot of her friends who worked there had contracted cancer. She came through an age where asbestos was everywhere.”
“She used to describe working there. She’d come in and say it was a dusty atmosphere and talk about men coming in and stripping the machines down as the girls worked close by.”
“The impression she gave me was that people were working in and around the maintenance men stripping the machines down, stripping air conditioning units down above their heads, all while people worked not far away.”
“While my mum was working on that site, everyone knew how dangerous asbestos was. I feel a real sense of anger that she’s caught something through no fault of her own, something that cut her life short.
“She was full of energy. She was healthy, completely independent. She had arthritis but that didn’t stop her getting around. She kept herself fit and healthy and then this devastating illness hit.”
Mr O’Neill has urged any of his mother’s former colleagues or people who worked on the site to come forward with any further information about the working conditions.
He said: “It’s so important that we get some answers – not just for our peace of mind but for other people who have worked in Jacob’s factory as well and been exposed to it as well.
“When she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, she was given six months to live. She lived six months to the day. It was a year before her death that she started to complain of pain and loss of weight.
“The doctors looked into everything that could be causing it. It was only when we ordered a CT scan and paid for it ourselves that it showed up this thing in her chest. That’s when they discovered what it was.
“It was shocking how that disease just overwhelmed her body.”
It has been suggested that large ovens in the factory were lagged with asbestos which were constantly being repaired. This repair work may have disturbed asbestos particles, enabling them to become airborne and inhaled by unsuspecting workers.
It is important that any former workers now come forward to give more information about the working conditions and how the asbestos could have become disturbed and airborne.
If you or your family have been affected by a mesothelioma diagnosis please contact us today on Freephone 0800 294 3065, or talk to us on live chat where we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.