Former senior local police officer seeks to raise awareness of ongoing danger of asbestos

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Tony Potter, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, retired from the Cambridgeshire Police Force in 1993, following a 30-year career in which he attained the rank of Superintendent. Now, 30 years later, he is suffering from a terminal illness, sarcomatoid mesothelioma, caused by working with asbestos for a Cambridgeshire company in the year before he joined the Force.

Mr Potter spent around a year working for the Atlas Stone Company, based in Meldreth, where corrugated asbestos sheeting, asbestos guttering and asbestos sheets were manufactured. He recalls working close to colleagues who mixed fine asbestos powder with water in order to mass produce the products. The asbestos was delivered to the site in sacks, and visible clouds of asbestos dust were created when the sacks were emptied into receptacles ready for mixing.

Mr Potter’s solicitor is Martyn Hayward of Ashtons Legal. He explains:

“Tony was a remarkably fit and healthy man in his early 80s until he started to experience shortness of breath in 2021 and was diagnosed with this aggressive form of asbestos-related cancer. He and his family are devastated by the effect that mesothelioma has had on him and are very keen to share his story in the interest of alerting others to the ongoing dangers of asbestos exposure.

“He did suffer some initial shortness of breath in 2018 and had fluid drained from his lungs. However, it did not contain any malignant cells. On returning for a check-up three months later, he was diagnosed with pleural plaques on his lungs, a benign condition associated with asbestos exposure. All then seemed to be well for the next three years until the shortness of breath returned, and he subsequently received his devastating diagnosis.

“Tony has undergone immunotherapy treatment as well as chemotherapy which has helped to keep the disease at bay for longer than is sometimes the case with sarcomatoid mesothelioma, but his life will inevitably be cut short by the disease.

“We have been able to obtain a compensation settlement for Tony in excess of £250,000 with an agreement that the cost of any future treatment after the legal claim concluded would be covered separately. Proving the cause of his mesothelioma was easier than is sometimes the case because the Atlas Stone Company has been on the receiving end of a number of claims from other former employees who have suffered a similar diagnosis. None of this, of course, begins truly to compensate for a formerly healthy man facing his retirement being cut short as a result of his exposure to asbestos over 60 years ago”.

Tony Potter adds: “The message is clear that exposure to asbestos is deadly. Although there is now health and safety legislation in place designed to prevent future incidences, the fear is that asbestos remains hidden in older buildings and exposure is still likely to occur, so raising awareness of the continued problem is vital.”

Contact our personal injury solicitors today

If you believe we can assist you when pursuing an Asbestos & Mesothelioma claim, or simply wish to talk about exposure to asbestos, please get in contact with us on 0330 404 0777 or fill out our online enquiry form to speak to one of our asbestos disease specialists, Martyn Hayward or Andrew Wilson.

Our experienced team of lawyers will be able to offer advice and guide you through every step of the claims process, and our in-house rehabilitation coordinators can help to support you through your recovery.


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