An Ilkeston woman whose husband died of an asbestos disease is urging his former colleagues to share information on his working conditions to support a compensation claim.

Tracey Fretwell’s husband, Andrew – known as Ron – died in February 2018. The 60-year-old had been diagnosed with mesothelioma just months earlier. He worked as a press operator for Domestic Industrial Pressings Ltd from 1978 to 1981, where he would often replace the lining on brake drums. It is possible the building had also been sprayed with an asbestos coating for fire protection, and the workings of the presses may have disturbed that material.

Ron Fretwell, far left, who passed away in February 2018

In July 2017, Ron started to lose his appetite and became lethargic. He visited his GP after noticing a fatty lump on his neck. The GP was unconcerned by the lump but noticed the glands in Ron’s throat were swollen and referred him for X-rays. He was later diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Now Tracey is calling on anyone who worked with Ron between 1978 and 1981 to contact asbestos specialists Thompsons Solicitors. The expert law firm has decades of experience supporting people affected by asbestos, and is currently highlighting how exposures are causing significant issues now, in its #PastButPresent campaign.

"Tracey and her family are struggling to understand what caused Ron’s illness. We hope that by speaking to Ron’s former colleagues at Domestic Industrial Pressings Ltd we can answer some of those questions."

Steve Fitzwalter
Personal Injury Solicitor specialising in asbestos related disease

Tracey is hoping Ron’s former colleagues will have information to assist the family’s compensation claim.

She said: “My husband had always liked his food so I knew something was up when he told me he was struggling to eat. We assumed he was just suffering with an illness, such as flu, and he would go back to normal soon. But, when weeks went by and he didn’t get any better, I started to worry that something more serious was at fault. Even so, the mesothelioma diagnosis was a huge shock to our whole family.

“It would be a comfort to find out what caused my husband to become so ill, so if anyone is able to help our family I would be hugely grateful.”

Steve Fitzwalter, the solicitor supporting the family, said: “Until his final months, Ron and his family were completely unaware of the serious illness that was slowly developing.

“Tracey and her family are struggling to understand what caused Ron’s illness. We hope that by speaking to Ron’s former colleagues at Domestic Industrial Pressings Ltd we can answer some of those questions.”

Anyone with information about working conditions at Domestic Industrial Pressings Ltd, particularly between 1978 and 1981, should contact Steve Fitzwalter at Thompsons Solicitors on 0121 262 1280, or email stevefitzwalter@thompsons.law.co.uk.