Dock Worker Says Wife’s Cancer is His Fault
An English dock worker who toiled among asbestos fibers for decades knows that the only reason his beloved wife died of mesothelioma is because he brought home the toxic mineral dust on his clothes. Now, he feels overwhelmed with guilt about her illness and death, he told the
The Mirror in a recent interview.
Leonard Faram says he feels like he “murdered” his wife Annette and fears for the lives of his grown children, who were also constantly exposed to the particles he brought home on his work clothes.
Faram, age 81, worked on a variety of ships and in shipyards along the Thames and also spent much of the 1960s as an employee at the Cape Asbestos Factory in Essex, England.
He claims that his employers cared little about the fact that the dock workers were exposed to the hazardous mineral daily. According to the article, the factory workers were given protective clothing but his request for protective gear for the dock workers as well always fell on deaf ears, he told the newspaper.
“Even back then people knew asbestos dust was a killer,” he said. “Our employers said it wouldn’t hurt us because we were working in the open air.”
Faram said he knew he was putting his life in danger each day but never dreamed that the lackadaisical attitude of his employers would mean a mesothelioma diagnosis and horrendous death for his spouse.
“When Annette died I was with her in hospital,” he explained. “Her last words to me were, ‘Thank you. I’ve had a wonderful life’.”
“And we did have a wonderful life together, I’ll forever be grateful for that. But she should still be here today, enjoying life, spending time with our five grandchildren,” Faram added.
Annette is one of 8,054 women who have died from mesothelioma in Britain between 1981 and 2017, along with over 45,527 men, the article notes.
Numbers like this have prompted Leonard Faram to make it his duty, along with his lawyer, to let others know about the dangers of secondhand asbestos exposure.
Of course, this situation isn’t limited to England, though that country does indeed have one of the worst rates of mesothelioma in the world.
It can just as easily happen in the United States…and it has. Spouses of shipyard employees who worked in shipbuilding during much of the 20th century can wind up like Annette, dying of mesothelioma even though they never worked directly with the toxin.
Secondhand asbestos victims in the U.S. can potentially seek compensation from the companies that were responsible for their exposure.