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Family of former telephone engineer appeals to former colleagues after his death from asbestos-related disease
The family of Geoffrey Miles from Regent’s Park, Southampton has issued an emotional appeal for help from his former work colleagues following his death from mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, linked to exposure to asbestos.
Sadly, Geoffrey, the much loved husband of Maureen Miles and Grandfather to six children, passed away on the 5th September 2017, aged 73 years old. During his lifetime, he had worked as a telephone engineer, starting his career in 1965 at the GPO in Southampton. The GPO was abolished in 1969 and became The Post Office until telecommunications and the postal service were separated in 1981 and he then worked for the newly launched British Telecommunications (BT) from 1982 to 1992.
During his time at the GPO, Geoffrey worked in telephone exchanges throughout Southampton, including the Woolston and Shirley exchanges. His work involved drilling holes in ceilings and walls to feed telephone cables through and wiring cables together. He would spend two to three days at each exchange before moving to the next one with a colleague. In those days, it was quite common to have to drill through asbestos in ceilings and walls and he told his family, he remembered working in dusty asbestos conditions. At that time, he was unaware of the dangers of exposure to asbestos and was not provided with any protective clothing or equipment.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2016 that Geoffrey began to notice symptoms of breathlessness. His condition deteriorated and in July 2017, he was given oxygen at home to assist with his breathing. A biopsy taken at Southampton General Hospital confirmed he had the incurable, asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma and very sadly, he passed away shortly after his diagnosis.
His family were, understandably, devastated by his shocking diagnosis and subsequent death. In a bid to get answers, they contacted the local asbestos support charity HASAG and in turn, instructed specialist asbestos disease solicitor Alison Sayers of Novum Law, which has close links with HASAG, to assist with their search for justice.
Alison said: “Unfortunately, Geoffrey’s case is not unusual and at Novum Law we help many asbestos victims and their families every year as they try to find out how their loved ones came to be exposed to deadly asbestos dust.
“Mesothelioma is a horrible disease which causes significant suffering for individuals and their loved ones. It doesn’t usually develop until many years after exposure to asbestos and can actually take anything from 15 to 60 years.
“We are appealing specifically to anybody who remembers Geoffrey Miles during his time working in the telephone exchanges in and around the Southampton area or anyone who remembers being exposed to asbestos or seeing asbestos in the walls and or ceilings of the exchanges from 1965 until the early 1980s. Even if you didn’t personally know Geoffrey, you may have valuable information that could help us get those vital answers his family need.”
If you have any information that may assist Geoffrey’s family, please call Novum Law free on 0800 884 0777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.novumlaw.com
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