Appeal for information after death from asbestos

David Stabler
David Stabler

The widow of a former surveyor is appealing to his ex-colleagues to come forward with vital information concerning his work history after he died from an

asbestos-related cancer.

David Stabler, from Wooler, died aged 80 on April 6, after a six-month battle with mesothelioma, cancer caused by exposure to harmful asbestos dust and fibres decades ago.

His wife instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate David’s former employers to see whether more could have been done to protect him from the dangerous dust.

After leaving school in 1949, David began his career as a quantity surveyor in London. In 1961, he joined Martin Sheffield and Bristow (later known as Bristow, Johnson and Partners and then Monaghan Bristow Partnership), based in Sackville Street in London.

A couple of years later he moved to Newcastle to open a new office there for the firm.

Throughout his 30-year employment he visited various construction sites across the North East, including Patterson’s car showroom on Scotswood Road, Norgas House in Killingworth, Kenton Housing Estate, the Engineering Research Station and Gateshead Stadium.

In October 2013, David began to experience pain in his right armpit which spread to his shoulder blade. He took paracetamol to relieve the pain but the condition worsened and, after cutting short a holiday in January this year, David had more tests. He died at St Oswald’s Hospice on April 6.

At his inquest, Newcastle coroner Karen Dilks concluded that David died from malignant mesothelioma, an industrial disease, as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Mrs Stabler said: “I was devastated after David passed away. Throughout his illness he coped well but his condition rapidly deteriorated as his pain worsened and he was admitted to the hospice to help him manage his condition and relieve his pain.

“He rapidly declined and even though we all knew of his diagnosis, it was still a shock to see him suffer like he did.

“I hope that this appeal will raise awareness so that anyone who knew or worked with David will come forward to help us to determine when and where he was exposed to the asbestos dust that eventually killed him and to seek justice in his memory.

“To think that the reason he got this terrible disease is simply because he was tirelessly working all his life is shocking.”

Roger Maddocks, from Irwin Mitchell, said: “We hope that David’s former colleagues and others who worked at these sites or projects will be able to come forward with any information about the conditions where he worked during his career as a chartered surveyor so we can gather evidence to see whether more could have been done by his employers to protect him from the deadly dust.

Anyone with information should contact Katie Faulds at Irwin Mitchell on 0191 279 0095.