A 63-year-old UK man, Billy Lavender, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2008. Now, he is seeking others who labored along side him at the former Rank Flour Mill during the 1960s and 1970s to help him to file a claim before he loses his life. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the tissue lining the lungs, the mesothelium, and the only known cause is exposure to asbestos fibers or particles. The cancer may not appear until 30 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma patients typically live up to 12 to 18 months after a diagnosis. Lavender is well aware of this prognosis, and that knowledge is fueling his haste in his search for assistance to file a claim.
A photograph of the workers from the Mill, taken in 1982, does not include Lavender since it was after he left, but many of his former co-workers are in it. Lavender’s attorney hopes that the picture will help to bring back memories of the co-workers. “It is a long time since the mill was closed and since this photograph was taken, but we hope this photo will jog some fading memories,” his attorney said. He hopes that they can come forward as witnesses to Lavender’s work as a pipe worker where he might have been exposed to asbestos. The only witnesses on hand are those who cannot recall the exact nature of Lavender’s work. According to Lavender’s attorney, “Even the smallest piece of information might prove to be an essential piece in the jigsaw.” Lavender’s attorney encourages anyone who finds themselves or a relative in the photograph to come forward to assist Lavender in his suit before he loses the battle of his life with a cancer which could have been avoided.