THE widow of a former bricklayer who died of asbestosis is calling on former colleagues to come forward to help her gain justice regarding his death.

Edward Hodgson Phillips, from Consett, died aged 74 in April with a post-mortem stating that asbestosis, a serious lung condition caused by exposure to asbestos, contributed to his death.

His family have now instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate, with the legal experts working to develop a clearer picture regarding how he came into contact with the material.

He was married for more than 50 years and his widow Sandra, 73, said: “I can remember Eddie’s time working at the steelworks so clearly, particularly how he always used to leave work covered from head to toe in white dust.

“He would often visit my parents’ house after a shift so he could have a bath, as his parents didn’t have hot water.

“His job as a bricklayer meant he was responsible for building and repairing the furnaces at the site and this included lining them with asbestos.

“He also told me how he would have to cut the sheets and blocks of insulation in order to do it, but as far as I am aware he was never warned of any dangers.

“It is only eight months since Eddie’s death and the whole family still misses him so much.

“We were devastated to learn of his asbestosis and feel we deserve some answers and justice regarding how it emerged.”

The family is working with Emma Tordoff, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office.

As part of their investigations, they are now appealing for anyone who worked with Mr Phillips, who was known as Eddie, to provide information on the presence of asbestos at the site.

Ms Tordoff said: “Unfortunately we see all too often those, like Eddie, who have suffered from asbestos exposure.”

To help, contact Stephanie Wilson at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191-279-0095 or email

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