Council to face asbestos legal action after teacher death

By Gillian Crotty

Luton Council is to face legal action from the family of a teacher who died from asbestos-related cancer after exposure to fibres at Denbigh Primary School.

Hazel Macdonald died on 6th March 2012 and the coroner told an inquest that her death was caused by epitheloid mesothelioma as a result of inhaling airborne asbestos fibres. The primary school where she worked is one of 59 council schools in Luton known to contain asbestos - only 4 council schools in the town are thought not to contain the deadly asbestos material.

The council said it was advised by the government not to disrupt the asbestos, and as such a decision was taken to leave the asbestos in place across the 59 schools in Luton. A spokesman for the council said they were investigating the matter further, but added that "asbestos-based products are safe unless they are damaged or liable to damage, and in many instances it is safer to leave asbestos in place and not remove it."

The widow of Mrs Macdonald wants the council to reverse it's decision to leave the asbestos in place, and is asking it to cover the fibres with plasticiser to bond it and prevent asbestos fibres getting into the air. He drew attention to the presence of asbestos in roof voids, which he says are open to air currents, posing a risk to children and staff at the schools.

If you have been in contact with asbestos dust you should meet with your GP urgently. If you are diagnosed with an asbestos related illness you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical treatment and other expenses. Contact one of the asbestos claims solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.

Alternatively you can submit your details online for a callback by clicking here.