A family in the UK is searching for colleagues of a veteran paint company inspector whose wife allegedly died of cancer contracted by washing his asbestos-filled clothes over the years.
Annie Shotton, originally from South Shields, England, never worked with asbestos, but her husband Ernest did—over several decades, as an inspector and paint technologist assigned to shipyards for International Paint, Lewis Berger Paints and Jotun Paints, according to a report in the Shields Gazette.
Annie Shotton died in December, at age 80, from the asbestos-related lung cancer mesothelioma. She had been diagnosed with the incurable cancer in March 2008.
|Ernest Shotton’s wife washed his asbestos-laden work clothes for 40 years and later died of asbestos-related lung cancer.|
“My dad came home covered in dust from the shipyards,” said Philip Shotton, the couple’s son, who is gathering information for a legal claim over his mother’s death. “My mum washed his clothes every day, and never dreamt that it would cause her death.”
‘She Would Shake Out the Dust’
Ernest Shotton worked for International Paint Ltd., based in Low Fell, as a paint technologist from the 1950s until 1963. He then worked for Lewis Berger in 1963 and 1964, and then was with Jotun until he retired in 1994. He died that same year.
During his career, his job took him to every shipyard in northeastern England.
“After reviewing Mrs. Shotton’s working history, it became clear she was exposed to asbestos from her husband’s work overalls,” the Shields Gazette reported. “At the end of the working day, she would shake out the dust before washing them in a [tub].”
The family is represented by Thompsons Solicitors, a UK law firm that specializes in mesothelioma cases.
Shipyard, Paint Workers Sought
The family wants to talk with “painters as well as other tradesmen who may have worked alongside Mr. Shotton,” the newspaper said.
“We want to hear from anyone who worked for—or knows anything about—the paint companies and the work they did in the shipyards at the time my dad was there, so we can find out more,” Philip Shotton said.
“It’s devastating to know that his lifelong work caused her death, which is why we feel it is important to find out exactly how this happened.”