The family of an industrial painter from Skewen, Swansea, who died from mesothelioma, are appealing for information from his former colleagues about whether they recall him working with asbestos over the course of his working life.


Stuart Thomas died in September 2022 after being diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease. Now, Mr Thomas’s family are seeking answers as to how he came to be exposed to asbestos, during his time working for Geof S Ogden Ltd, known locally as ‘Ogdens’.

Mr Thomas completed his apprenticeship as an industrial painter with Ogdens during the mid-1970s, working on several different contracts dependent on where the company held work.

He recalled coming into contact with asbestos during one job in particular at the Leiners factory in Treforest, where he was required to sand down roofing metalwork and adjacent asbestos sheeting in order to clean and paint it.

A man wearing a suit
Stuart Thomas died in September 2022 after developing mesothelioma

He had several similar jobs involving asbestos sheeting in different locations. He was also involved in scraping artexing, which contained asbestos. During his time working at Ogdens, he lived on Rhondda Terrace in Ferndale.

In order to find answers as to what happened to her husband, and to make a civil claim for compensation arising out of her husband’s condition, Mr Thomas’s wife, Lesley, has instructed specialist asbestos law firm, Thompsons Solicitors.

Thompsons won the first-ever asbestos compensation case brought to the House of Lords back in 1972 and has since been involved in every major fight against the asbestos insurance industry. In addition, the firm is a member of the Mesothelioma UK Legal Panel, which recognises the firm’s expertise fighting for the rights of asbestos victims.

Mrs Thomas said: “What is so brutal about this disease is that it develops decades after exposure to asbestos.

“It wasn’t until December 2021 that Stuart started to feel very ill – nearly 50 years after he was most likely exposed to asbestos. His breathing got noticeably worse, and he ended up losing 21 pounds in weight in just three weeks.

“It was shocking for all the family to witness the rapid deterioration in his health, and just two months after his diagnosis he passed away. We’re still trying to process his loss, so any help from his former colleagues would be a huge help as we try to seek closure.”

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the lining of the body's organs (typically the lungs), which is usually linked to asbestos exposure. It can often take decades for symptoms to develop after exposure. According to Cancer Research UK, 2,394 people died from mesothelioma cancer between 2017-2019 in the UK.

Emily Thornton, an asbestos specialist at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “We would be grateful to hear from anyone who remembers working for Geof S Odgen Ltd alongside Mr Thomas, or alternatively anyone who worked for the firm during the 1970s and can recall asbestos exposure as a part of their work.

“It would also be helpful for us to speak with anyone who recalls asbestos exposure at the Leiners factory in Treforest specifically. Such individuals will be invaluable to the Thomas family, as they may be able to add important information that will assist us in building a civil claim on their behalf.

“We hope then that we will be able to help Mr Thomas’s family answer questions about the conditions that he worked in.”

Anyone with information should contact Emily Thornton at Thompsons Solicitors on 02920 445345, or via email at