Family of Chelmsford man who died of asbestos exposure seek answers

Last Updated on 11th January 2021 by James Jacobs

Family of Chelmsford man who died of asbestos exposure seek answers

The family of a man from Chelmsford who died of an asbestos related cancer are seeking answers from his former employer concerning his exposure to asbestos.

Norman Samuel Scarlett died in February of this year after falling ill in the autumn of 2016.

He began to complain of shortness of breath and tiredness.

Now his daughter, Carol Scarlett, is asking for help from anyone who may have worked with her father at Essex County council.

Mr Scarlett worked there in the construction department as a carpenter from 1973 until 1987.

After visiting his doctor, Mr Scarlett from Chelmsford was informed that he was suffering from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Carol ended up caring for her father at his home in Roxwell, Chelmsford, as his health deteriorated over the months as result of exposure to asbestos many years previously.

Solicitors are instructed to investigate asbestos exposure claims

The family of Mr Scarlett have now instructed specialist lawyers to investigate the case.

Hodge Jones & Allen will be tasked with investigating to try and establish how and when Mr Scarlett was exposed to asbestos.

They will also try to establish whether or not his employer could have done more to protect his wellbeing.

From what is already known, the ceiling of the Carpenters’ Department where Norman worked contained damaged asbestos tiles.

As well as that, there were also asbestos lagged pipes that ran above the area where Norman worked.

The asbestos was removed from the building at a later date.

However, at the time it was in situ, Norman told his family that he was not offered adequate protection from the asbestos fibers.

All he was given was a thin paper mask to wear, which proved useless.

Coroner launches inquiries before inquest

The Chelmsford Coroner has launched an inquiry to establish the exact cause of Mr Scarlett’s death and whether not it was directly linked to asbestos exposure.

The conclusion will be heard at the future inquest which will take place in a few months time.

Speaking about her father, Carol Scarlett said, “Dad was very hardworking and thorough in his work. He was a quiet man who enjoyed being creative. When retired, he developed a Wild West cowboy circus act. He didn’t have an easy life. During the Second World War, he was captured at the Battle of Anzio in Italy and became a prisoner of war.”

“Dad’s Mum lived until she was 98 and I thought Dad would live until his late 90s too. He was always very fit and took pride keeping in good physical shape. He was very active until his illness made him too sick to enjoy his life.”

“Dad was very ill with mesothelioma for five months. He became extremely tired and frail due to being off his food and being extremely breathless on exertion. It was very sad to watch a very strong, brave and caring man become so frail due to mesothelioma.”

Essex County Council have issued a statement saying that their ‘sympathies are with Mr Scarlett’s family at this difficult time’, but that they are unable to pass further comment further as the Coroner has only just launched the inquest into the Chelmsford man’s suspected exposure to asbestos.

Source article by Matthew Critchell

Duty holders and employers have a legal responsibility to manage asbestos in their building so as not to put employees at risk. Contact our Armco office for asbestos management and refurbishment/ demolition surveys on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting

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Published Apr 10, 2017

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