THE WIDOW of a Wirral school caretaker who died from cancer linked to asbestos pledged to carry on her compensation fight.
Allison West’s husband Keith, 69, from Eastham, died in 2008 after suffering the effects of breathing in asbestos fibres.
Mrs West claimed damages from Wirral Council, which she claims negligently exposed Mr West to asbestos dust during his time as a caretaker at South Wirral high school in the mid-1990s.
A judge dismissed her claim, finding that although there were concerns over the council’s recording of asbestos there was no breach of regulations or its duty of care to Mr West.
Judge Ian Trigger, sitting at Liverpool civil and family court, said asbestos was used in the lagging of pipework and insulation in the school boiler room, but there was no indication it had broken away or been damaged in a way likely to pose a serious risk to Mr West.
The court was told that in a 2011 statement Mrs West had claimed Mr West told her parts of the lagging had broken away and had to be swept up by her husband.
But the judge said that was more than three years after Mr West’s death and was not referred to in his own statement, made after he was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma.
He added: “I am driven to the conclusion that during the relevant period the deceased was not exposed to asbestos during the course of his employment.”
The court also heard Mr West spent a year working down south where part of his job involved cutting sheets of asbestos.
The judge awarded costs in the case to the council and gave Mrs West and her solicitors time to prepare grounds for appeal.
Mrs West’s solicitor Pannone and Co said discussions were ongoing over an appeal.
A Wirral council spokesman said: “It was our belief that Mr West’s illness was not related to his work at South Wirral high school and the outcome at court backs up that belief.
“Our thoughts and sympathies of course remain with Mr West’s family for their loss but as we have a duty to protect public funds this was a claim we had to defend.”