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Former worker at Kent and Edmonton Marks and Spencer stores appeals for information following asbestos related illness

A former Marks and Spencer office manager is appealing for help from her former colleagues after being diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.

Posted on 28 March 2023

Lesley Smee, aged 78, lives in Gravesend with her husband, Graham. They have been married for over 55 years.
In 1965, when Lesley was age 21, she started working in the Edmonton Marks and Spencer store, on Fore Street in North London. She started as a shop floor assistant and progressed to office manager. She recalls that the store was an old building, and she considers it likely that repair and maintenance work took place while she worked there.
In January 1970, Lesley moved to the Gravesend Marks and Spencer store, on New Road in Kent. She did administrative work in the office. She left in 1973, when she and her husband started a family.
Lesley is aware that there have been past cases of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma having been exposed to asbestos in Marks and Spencer stores.
Prior to working for Marks and Spencer, Lesley worked for Trinity Finance, on Great Cambridge Road, Enfield, between 1959 to 1962. In 1962/63, Lesley worked in the office for Sangamo Weston, a company which produced measuring instruments, also based on Great Cambridge Road. Lesley also worked for Sainsbury’s in Enfield Town Centre between 1963 and 1965.
After receiving the diagnosis in July 2022, Lesley Smee instructed the asbestos team at Leigh Day to investigate a legal claim and they are now appealing for information to assist with her claim.
The Leigh Day team would like to speak to anyone who worked in the same locations that Lesley worked in during the 1960s and 1970s.
Lesley Smee said:
“I would be very grateful if any of my former colleagues could come forward to help my solicitors investigate my case.”
Leigh Day solicitor Andrew Cooper said:
“We know that most people who develop an asbestos condition have come into contact with asbestos during their work. Lesley worked between 1959 and 1973, when the use of asbestos products in buildings, including offices, was common. We are appealing for anyone who worked in the same buildings as Lesley in the 1960s and 1970s, or anyone who has any information about the presence of asbestos in these buildings, to come forward.
“Any details, no matter how small, could be very important to the legal claim.”

Andrew Cooper
Asbestos and mesothelioma Industrial disease

Andrew Cooper

Andrew Cooper is a senior associate solicitor in the industrial disease team.

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Asbestos and industrial diseases

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Mesothelioma claims

Thousands of people are diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases annually, including mesothelioma, a cancer affecting the pleural lining of the lungs and almost exclusively caused by asbestos