Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company- asbestos appeal

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The heartbroken daughter of a former worker at Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company in Chippenham who died from mesothelioma – an incurable asbestos-related cancer – just months after her devastating diagnosis is appealing to her ex-colleagues for help in her legal battle for justice.

Margaret ‘Midge’ Mather (nee Rumming) from Calne, sadly died on 23 December 2013 aged 82 years after being diagnosed with the extremely aggressive cancer which affects the lining of the lungs, leaving her daughter Rebekah Sloane Mather and the rest of the family absolutely devastated.

At the inquest to her death held on 14 May 2014, the Assistant Coroner for Wiltshire, Claire Balysz, recorded a verdict of death due to industrial disease.

Midge worked at Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company on Foundry Lane in Chippenham on three occasions during her lifetime and it is believed she came into contact with asbestos during her time there. She started working in the accounts department at Westinghouse in 1945 until 1961 when she left to have Rebekah, returning in 1963 for two years. She then returned for a third time in 1972 this time working on the factory floor in the signals and semi-conductors department until her retirement in 1988.

Rebekah explained: “Mum worked at Westinghouse for most of her working life. When she worked on the factory floor she had to wind coils on the production line and this was extremely dusty, dirty work. I remember picking Mum up from work and her blue overalls would be absolutely covered in dust.

“Her mesothelioma diagnosis came as a massive shock to us. Previously, she’d been fit and active and to suddenly find out she had a terminal illness was absolutely devastating. Mum knew there was no cure and did not want to go through the ordeal of having chemotherapy. She passed away six months’ later and we all miss her terribly.”

Rebekah has now instructed specialist asbestos disease lawyers at Novum Law to help investigate the working conditions she endured and find out why she was exposed to the deadly dust during her time working at Westinghouse.

She added: “I really want to find out more about Mum’s possible exposure. While I know that no compensation will bring her back, there must be other people suffering as a result of asbestos exposure at Westinghouse and I would like to get some closure and justice for Mum and others like her.”

Helen Grady, an expert asbestos disease solicitor at Novum Law, specialising in mesothelioma cases, said: “The dangers of asbestos have been known for a long time but unfortunately we continue to see its victims who were perhaps not warned about the risks or given protective equipment or clothing. In this case, Margaret paid the ultimate price for going to work every day to help provide for her family and suffered a significant amount of pain and distress in the final months of her life.

“We hope that anybody who may have worked at Westinghouse or remembers working with Midge can shed more light on the type of work she would have undertaken and provide information about the presence and use of asbestos in the factory.”

If anyone can help in any way, then please contact Helen Grady at Novum Law on free phone: 0800 884 0555 or email: info@novumlaw.com.

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