Brother’s Mesothelioma Death Inspires Asbestos Activist

by Sokolove Law

He was a strong man and martial artist that you could “bounce bricks off,” but Clayton Fernie couldn’t escape the long lethal grip of asbestos.

A runner who neither smoked nor drank, Canadian Clayton Fernie died a “hard, horrible” death in 2010 from mesothelioma, according to a story in The Vancouver Sun. Clayton Fernie worked for decades in construction, and did “the work of three men,” according to his brother Derrick Fernie.

But then he started to feel a pain in his back that had no apparent cause. In 2010 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare but deadly asbestos-caused cancer, and died just five months later. Clayton Fernie was only 63 years old, and left behind two sons and four grandchildren. “To go that way, it’s so heart-wrenching for the family,” said Derrick Fernie. “He did not deserve this. Nobody deserves this.”

Like Clayton, Derrick Fernie was also in the walls and ceiling installation business. Facing the prospect of a similar death as his brother, he’s become a “self styled” asbestos activist. He has signed up thousands of people to a petition calling for a ban on Canadian exports of asbestos. He wants British Columbia, where he lives, to get much tougher on asbestos removal companies that put their workers and the public at risk.

Fernie was particularly incensed after reading another story in The Vancouver Sun. The article reported that one company had more than 250 orders for violations for exposing workers to asbestos under. The company also had more than $280,000 in fines going back to 2009.

Canada has a long and troubled asbestos legacy. It was only last year that Canada’s leaders ended their longstanding resistance to labeling asbestos as a dangerous material under United Nations’ guidelines and shuttered the nation’s remaining asbestos mines, as NPR noted.

Asbestos disease is the top occupational killer in B.C., having caused 512 deaths between 2002 and 2011, as the Sun pointed out. In Canada, as it is in the United States, mesothelioma is a constant danger. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that there were 18,068 deaths from malignant mesothelioma between 1999 and 2005.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if you have lost a loved one to this disease, you may be eligible for financial compensation in the form of a mesothelioma settlement. Mesothelioma attorneys have helped thousands of families get the just compensation they deserved. Contact Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation today.

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