Cape Asbestos ordered to reveal past Barking case details

Cape Asbestos factory in Barking

Cape Asbestos factory in Barking - Credit: Archant

An asbestos insulation company has been ordered to reveal the details of around 550 legal claims made against it by cancer victims alleging the firm is responsible for causing their illness.

Cape Asbestos, which was based in Harts Lane, Barking, from 1913 to 1968, has been the target of claims from victims of “environmental” asbestos poisoning – those not working within its factory but who lived or worked nearby.

A High Court ruling last month ordered the company to disclose all previous claims of this type.

The decision will be a boon to families still considering legal action, who hope evidence and information from previous cases may be able to be used in court to support future claims.

Solicitor Gillian Jones, of Boyes Turner, said: “If this information comes out it would be very useful.

“It would mean people fighting their case against Cape Asbestos would benefit from information that came out in previous cases.”

In many of the claims, including that of Denis Aherne which inspired the landmark ruling, victims died from mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by regular contact with asbestos dust.

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Barking and Dagenham remains one of the top 10 asbestos death blackspots in the country, with 265 fatalities per 100,000 people recorded between 1981 to 2005.

Solicitors Boyes Turner are also acting on behalf of the family of William Charles Ruston, who died from lung cancer.

His relatives believe he lived in Hurstbourne Gardens, Barking, during his childhood and later went to Barking Abbey School.

n Lawyers are looking to get in touch with anybody who knew Mr Ruston in Barking or went to school with him. Contact 0118 952 7156 to speak with a solicitor working on the case.