A RETIRED father-of-five died decades after being exposed to asbestos, an inquest heard.
More than 50 years after William Griffin, of James Avenue, Great Sutton, worked as a joiner at various building yards, he contracted mesothelioma, a lung cancer resulting from exposure to asbestos.
The 77-year-old died at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd on November 23, 2011, following months of breathing difficulties and radiotherapy treatment.
The inquest, held at Chester Magistrates Court heard how Mr Griffin had left school in 1949 at the age of 15 to begin a five-year apprenticeship at J Richards Building Services in Shropshire, where he came across ‘a small amount of asbestos’.
He later left to serve in the Army abroad, where he was not exposed to any harmful substances, but when he returned and got a job at Cammell Laird in 1959 he was again working with asbestos.
Other jobs followed, at construction company Wimpeys, and a brief stint at Shell, where he was a concreter, but in the late 1960s Mr Griffin became self-employed, doing subcontracting work on houses and pubs.
The inquest heard that during this period he was exposed to a significant amount of asbestos.
Mr Griffin’s partner, who was with him for about six years after the death of his wife, said that generally, he had been in good health but in 2010 began complaining of a persistent cough.
He had also been suffering from erratic breath sounds, insomnia and ankle swelling.
A chest X-ray later revealed a plural infusion on the lung and he underwent radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Hospital.
However, his symptoms worsened, and on November 13 last year he was transferred to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, where he died 10 days later.
Recording a verdict of metastatic mesothelioma, assistant deputy coroner for Cheshire Michael Wallbank said he was ‘strongly’ satisfied asbestos caused Mr Griffin’s death from the industrial disease.
He said: “It is clear Mr Griffin had quite a degree of exposure to asbestos over the years and in the last few months of his life his conditions deteriorated significantly.”