For­mer lec­turer died from as­bestos-re­lated lung can­cer

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

THE FAM­ILY of a for­mer univer­sity lec­turer are search­ing for an­swers into his death fol­low­ing a can­cer di­ag­no­sis two years ago.

Martin Gay­lard, from Den­ham, died aged 77 in March 2014 af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with mesothe­lioma, a can­cer of the lin­ing of the lung caused by as­bestos ex­po­sure.

Now his fam­ily have launched an ap­peal for in­for­ma­tion from for­mer col­leagues of his at Brunel Univer­sity to sup­port their search about how Mr Gay­lard was ex­posed to the dust.

He was di­ag­nosed in May 2013 af­ter feel­ing in­creas­ingly un­well and breath­less since De­cem­ber 2012.

The fa­ther-of-two worked at a range of com­pa­nies across the UK, in­clud­ing W T Avery Lim­ited as a grad­u­ate trainee en­gi­neer, be­fore mov­ing to Brunel Univer­sity in 1962 as an as­sis­tant lec­turer in both the Ac­ton and Uxbridge cam­puses where he re­mained un­til his re­tire­ment in 2000.

He spent a con­sid­er­able amount of time in his vi­bra­tions lab and was also re­spon­si­ble for su­per­vis­ing place­ment of stu­dents where he would visit them on site twice a year.

His widow, Els­beth, and chil­dren, Alexei and Oliver, have in­structed spe­cial­ist as­bestos re­lated dis­ease lawyers at Ir­win Mitchell to help their fight for jus­tice.

Els­beth said: “The whole fam­ily are still in com­plete shock and to know he died from an as­bestos-re­lated ill­ness is heart­break­ing.”

His wife con­tin­ued: “It was hor­ri­ble to see him suf­fer in such a way. We now need to know how this hap­pened, and whether any­thing could have been done to put a stop to his death. We’re re­ally hop­ing those who he worked with might be able to help give us more in­for­ma­tion so that we can de­ter­mine what caused his ter­ri­ble ill­ness.”

Joanne Jefferies, a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the fam­ily, said: “Mesothe­lioma is an ag­gres­sive and in­cur­able can­cer and has dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for suf­fer­ers and their loved ones. Sadly, de­spite em­ploy­ers know­ing how dan­ger­ous it is, many in the past did not do enough to man­age the risks of as­bestos ex­po­sure to pro­tect their em­ploy­ees.

“Be­cause the ill­ness is linked to ex­po­sure to as­bestos decades ago it can some­times be dif­fi­cult to find in­for­ma­tion on the work­ing con­di­tions the vic­tims have en­dured.”

A spokesper­son for Brunel Univer­sity said: “The univer­sity can con­firm Mr Gay­lard started work­ing for Brunel Col­lege on Septem­ber 1 1962 be­fore be­com­ing a lec­turer at Brunel Univer­sity. “He re­tired in Septem­ber 30 1999 al­though it seems he con­tin­ued to work part time un­til Septem­ber 30 2001. At this point the Univer­sity can pro­vide no fur­ther com­ment.”

Con­tact Joanne Jefferies on 0207 421 3936 or at joanne.jefferies@ir­win­mitchell.com if you have any in­for­ma­tion.

Help needed: Martin Gay­lard died in 2014

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