Mesothelioma Victim’s Sister Sounds Alarm about College Asbestos

by Sokolove Law

College lecturer Cynthia Clarke was a mesothelioma cancer victim who believed her college employer exposed her to deadly asbestos. Asbestos exposure frequently occurred in construction or manufacturing, or in the shipbuilding and aerospace industries. It’s less common to hear about it in academia.

Nevertheless, Elizabeth Smith, Cynthia Clarke’s sister, is sounding an alarm. Smith said it was Clarke’s wish to warn others who had worked or been students at Preston College about the asbestos presence once there, notes the United Kingdom-based Lancashire Evening Post.

As the story notes, Clarke was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma cancer in July 2008. Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer caused almost exclusively by asbestos. Clarke succumbed to the disease in 2010, age 66, believing she was exposed to asbestos while teaching at Preston College.

Elizabeth Smith said, “The pathologist’s conclusion after post-mortem examination was that the malignancy was likely to have been caused by exposure to asbestos. The family are not aware of any such exposure other than at her place of work.”

Before she passed away, Clarke sought legal help and won “substantial” compensation from Lancashire County Council and its insurers, although they never admitted formal liability.

“My client’s case revolved around ceiling tiles in Preston College that contained asbestos,” said Clarke’s solicitor. “Quite a lot of these were removed during the 1980s. But my client had already been there over a decade by that point, and there had been people going up into the ceiling space, disturbing the asbestos by fitting cables.”

According to a college spokesman, asbestos was removed from the site before and since 1992 (when the current college was incorporated). Additionally, “any small amounts of residuary asbestos containing materials are now controlled via asbestos registers and the College facilities team.”

The World Health Organization says about 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Over 107,000 people die every year from mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, and asbestosis.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos in the workplace and developed an asbestos-related condition as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the experienced asbestos lawyers at Sokolove Law today for a free case consultation.

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