Carpenter’s widow files mesothelioma lawsuit in Blackpool

(Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

Carpenter or joiner, lawyer or barrister: though the words might be different, the meanings are the same. And the same disease affects carpenters (or joiners, as some are called in England) across the Atlantic: mesothelioma, the deadly asbestos cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs and other major organs. In Blackpool, a town in northwest England, one family is dealing with their father’s recent death, which came shortly after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Christopher Duck had been a carpenter and maintenance man at Blackpool Pleasure Beach—a seaside amusement park comparable to those at Coney Island or Wildwood, New Jersey—for over ten years. In 2010, Mr. Duck was diagnosed with mesothelioma. His widow Valerie is now suing Blackpool Pleasure Beach for negligence in exposing her late husband to asbestos. In a “writ”, or statement, the Duck family’s lawyer states:

“Many of the buildings on site [at Blackpool Pleasure Beach] contained asbestos, which was used as fire resistant panelling and for underlining ceilings, which he cut and drilled with power and hand tools. He was not given respiratory protection, except paper masks which were ineffective, and there was no ventilation despite the presence of asbestos insulation board.”

What makes Mr. Duck’s case all the more upsetting is that he took his own life after witnessing the suffering of a fellow hospital patient with severe breathing problems. Though people may believe that “mental anguish” (along with “pain and suffering”) is simply a made-up term, it is mental anguish from the knowledge of the suffering that lie ahead that caused Mr. Duck’s death. The Blackpool Gazette quotes the Ducks’ lawyer’s statement that Mr. Duck “had no history of depression or suicidal tendencies, and he would not have committed suicide if he had not had mesothelioma.”

This is a tragic case, and we hope that Mrs. Duck and her children receive just compensation for their terrible loss.


July 5, 2011. Tags: , , . Support Information. Leave a comment.