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Richard Wardle, a former employee of the Above Bar Woolworths superstore in Southampton, has issued an emotional appeal for help following his diagnosis with the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
Richard was exposed to asbestos while working as an assistant manager at Woolworths (which is now a branch of TK Maxx) between approximately 1962 and 1965.
During this time Richard recalled that a significant amount of refurbishment took place to modernise the store. This included refurbishment of the store’s marble floor, which was ground down.
Experts from specialist asbestos disease law firm Novum Law, which is supporting Richard with his claim, believe that pipework lagged with asbestos for insulation was disturbed when workers accessed the floor. Asbestos dust would have become airborne, and inhaled by nearby workers such as Richard, who was not warned of the dangers of asbestos or given any protection.
In late 2022 Richard was sadly diagnosed with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer linked to past exposure to asbestos dust, and subsequently instructed Novum Law to investigate his claim.
Now, Novum Law is supporting Richard as they try to trace former colleagues who worked at the Woolworths Above Bar store in Southampton, as well as contractors who recall working in the shop.
They hope that these former workers may be able to provide vital information about the work that was carried out, the working conditions, the materials Richard and other shop staff may have come into contact with, and any exposure to asbestos.
“Richard was exposed to asbestos when working hard to earn a living, and is part of the growing number of former shop workers now facing the devastating consequences of asbestos exposure. His employers failed to adequately protect him, and he rightly wants justice for the effect this diagnosis will have on his life.
“We urge anybody who worked with him or contractors who worked at this premises to get in touch with us with any information you have, no matter how small. The more evidence we have, the better chance we have of achieving a successful outcome for Richard.”
If you have any information about Above Bar Woolworths in Southampton, in particular any knowledge of asbestos present on the premises, please call Novum Law FREEPHONE on 0800 884 0777 or email Alan Jolliffe at AJolliffe@novumlaw.com.
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