Inquest hears how woman died months after asbestos cancer diagnosis

Last Updated on 14th December 2017 by Admin

Inquest hears how woman died months after asbestos cancer diagnosis

An inquest in Devon heard how Julie Elizabeth Lawless, aged 59, died within only a few months of being diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

Mrs Lawless from Torbay in Devon was diagnosed with mesothelioma in September 2015.

She died just a few months later on New Year’s Eve from pneumonia thought to have been caused by the mesothelioma..

It is believed that Mrs Lawless may have been exposed to asbestos dust on her father’s work overalls when she was just a child.

Coroner Ian Arrow said, “On the balance of probabilities Julie has been exposed to asbestos during her lifetime.”

“I am satisfied she’s been exposed to asbestos dust in her family, in so far as her father’s dust on his overalls, or may have been exposed to dust at work. She died from mesothelioma.”

“On the balance of probabilities, she contracted it as a result of exposure to asbestos dust during her lifetime.”

Family say she was a loving, caring, happy mother and grandmother

Mrs Lawless’ sister, Elaine Cowell, also spoke at the inquest.

Her sister Elaine told the inquest, “Julie was happy, jolly, loved her family, children and grandchildren and was loved by all.”

“She was a very special person and we all miss her deeply.”

Elaine explained how their father had been a BT engineer and part of his job involved cutting cables lagged with asbestos.

Elaine told the inquest, “He would come home in uniform and flakes used to come off.”

“His uniform was an all-in-one overall which he would stay in for an hour.”

She also explained that her father’s work uniform used to be washed in the machine and then hung up to dry.

Her sister Julie was said to have told her that she would often see what she described as ‘white flakes’ on it as it hung to dry.

Mrs Lawless’ working life involved various jobs.  She worked on the high-street for a couple of big name stores including Goldsmiths and River Island.

She also worked as a care administrator for some time.

Short time between diagnosis and passing

Julie began to experience symptoms back in June 2015, with a pain she brushed off as just being a trapped nerve.

But the pain didn’t go away and she eventually went to see her doctor.

Following tests in September 2015, Julie was finally diagnosed with mesothelioma by doctors.

Sadly, she was admitted to Torbay Hospital on the 28th December 2015, but died 3 days later as Doctors could do no more for her as her body rejected all treatment.


Source of article:- by 


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

Alternatively, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit for more information or to book a training course.




Twitter Feed


Published Nov 22, 2016

Get in touch
  1. <p> <label> <input type="checkbox" name="mc4wp-subscribe" value="1" /> Subscribe to our newsletter. </label> </p>