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Family of former Hackney worker appeals for information following his asbestos related death

The family of a former Hackney Power Station worker, who died aged 89 from asbestosis, a chronic respiratory disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, is appealing for other workers to come forward with more information.

Horace Mitchell

23 May 2019

Horace Mitchell, who was known as Bill, worked for the Central Electricity Generating Board at Hackney Power Station (also known as Millfields Power Station) in London from around 1958 – 1972.
 
His family understand that he worked in the boiler rooms and turbine halls in the vicinity of pipe fitters and laggers that were using asbestos.
 
After Horace’s death on 12 October 2018, his post-mortem and inquest revealed that he had multiple asbestos fibres in his lungs and that he had died from asbestosis. His family are now considering a legal claim against his former employers and are keen to find out more information about the working conditions at the time and the presence of asbestos at the power station.
 
Karen Horlatsch, Horace Mitchell’s daughter, said:

“Dad was a such a polite, kind, courteous, smart and funny man. He always had a cheeky glint in his eye and he loved quizzes and swatting up on his general knowledge. He was the quintessential English gentleman. He went from this to someone who was bedridden for the last two years of his life and in extreme pain.
 
“Not a day goes by that I don’t reflect about the suffering my father endured especially during those last few months and regret that something more wasn’t done for him. I had to watch my mother battle along, at Dad’s side every day, trying her best to make sure he was being looked after and ever vigilant to ensure his needs were being met. All I want now is justice for my Dad and for my Mum too”.
 
Helen Ashton, a specialist in asbestos disease cases at Leigh Day, said:

“We were only instructed to investigate Mr Mitchell’s case after he had passed away and so have limited information about the nature of his job and the extent of his exposure to asbestos, although it is clear from the Post Mortem report that he had been very heavily exposed to asbestos.
 
"I would be grateful if others who worked at Hackney Power Station could contact me that might assist the family with their legal claim."
 
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence. If you have any information that might assist in the first instance please telephone 0161 393 3557 and ask to speak to Helen Ashton or alternatively e-mail hashton@leighday.co.uk.

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