Woman was killed by inhaling asbestos from father's clothes


The family of a woman who died from inhaling asbestos dust brought home by her father on his clothes was awarded £150,000 agreed damages in the High Court in Belfast yesterday.

It was believed to be one of the highest ever awards in a so-called asbestosis case.

Mrs Margery Conway, Glenview Drive, Belfast, was 49 when she died earlier this year. She is survived by her husband Mr Tom Conway and sons Mark (22) and Paul (20).

The defendants in the action were Newalls Insulation Co Ltd, of Trafford Park, Manchester. The case was settled out of court.

Mrs Conway's late father, Mr James McAleer, worked for Newalls as a pipe and boiler insulator. Court papers stated: "During the course of her childhood she was exposed to asbestos dust and particles brought home by her father on his clothing."

She inhaled the dust and contracted mesothelioma, which eventually killed her. When the writ was issued two years ago, Mrs Conway was the plaintiff, but she died two weeks before the case was due to be heard. The action was then taken over by her husband.

The original writ said of Mrs Conway's condition: "The outlook is grim - increasing pain culminating in an agonising death.

"It will be difficult to overstate the misery which the plaintiff and her family will suffer prior to her death."

Solicitor Mr Michael Hollywood, who represented the Conways, said: "Obviously this was an extremely tragic case but it further illustrates that relatives of people who worked with asbestos can bring successful claims against employers."