Inquest into Whitwell man’s asbestos death

AN ELDERLY man from Whitwell died from pneumonia after years of suffering from asbestosis, an inquest heard.

Michael Ward, 69, from Butt Hill Close in Whitwell, died at Doncaster Royal Infirmary on 28th July 2012.

An inquest at Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard that the retired lorry driver was an engineer in the Royal Navy from 1955 until 1963, where he was likely to have been exposed to asbestos whilst working aboard the HMS Ark Royal R09.

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Mr Ward spent the later years of his life wheelchair-bound and on 24-hour oxygen therapy.

The coroner concluded that Mr Ward’s asbestosis ‘must have inhibited the function of his lungs to a great extent and increased the chance of an infection such as pneumonia’.

The inquest also heard that the family were ‘extremely distressed’ that they were not informed of the cause of their father’s death until weeks later.

The coroner recorded the official cause of death as an industrial disease.

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After the inquest, the Ward family told the Guardian that they plan to launch an official complaint with Bassetlaw and Doncaster Hospitals about this ‘gross miscommunication’ and they will also be ‘fighting the Royal Navy for justice’.

- For the FULL story see Friday’s Worksop Guardian.