Doncaster widow’s heartfelt appeal over husband’s asbestos-related death

Geoffrey Arnold Hoggett, of Wheatley, who died aged 81 on November 9, 2012 following a nine-month battle with mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure.
Geoffrey Arnold Hoggett, of Wheatley, who died aged 81 on November 9, 2012 following a nine-month battle with mesothelioma, which is caused by asbestos exposure.

The heartbroken widow of an electrician who died from an asbestos-related illness claims he was exposed to the deadly dust at his former workplace and is taking legal action.

The family of Wheatley man Geoffrey Arnold Hoggett, who died after a nine-month battle with asbestos-related mesothelioma, believe more could have been done to protect him from the dust at two firms he worked for early in his career.

Mr Hoggett, a father-of-three, told his family before his death in November 2012 he was exposed to the deadly dust while working as an electrician at Doncaster firm Sinclair between 1946 and 1950 and later at Electrolux in Harrogate.

Widow Maureen, along with daughters Katy and Kristina, have instructed lawyers to investigate as part of a compensation claim and are asking any of his former colleagues to get in as part of the investigation.

Mrs Hoggett, aged 74, his wife of 40 years, said: “We first noticed things weren’t right when Geoffrey suddenly began feeling breathless and weak all the time.

“Doctors did lots of tests and scans and they initially thought he was suffering from lung cancer. However, in February 2012, we were given the devastating news it was mesothelioma and he would never recover.

“It’s still incredibly hard to come to terms with the fact Katy, Kristina and I have lost him to such a terrible disease and we miss him every day.

“We hope his ex-workmates from Sinclair and Electrolux will now help us to get the answers we deserve about his asbestos exposure so we can honour his memory.”

Mr Hoggett told relatives he remembered coming into contact with asbestos sheets at Sinclair, and also worked in a variety of public buildings where pipework was lagged with asbestos.

He also recalled working with asbestos fascias and soffits which he handled while re-wiring houses.

Between 1955 and 1964, while at Electrolux, he was responsible for servicing industrial laundry equipment which contained asbestos insulation.

He told his family that his employers had never warned him about the dangers of asbestos or provided any suitable protective clothing.

Martyn Hayward, a specialist industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, which is representing the family, said: “Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer which causes so much distress to victims like Mr Hoggett who worked as electricians – a trade recognised for workers regularly coming into contact with deadly asbestos during the course of their employment.

“We hope his former workmates will be able to confirm details about how Sinclair and Electrolux may have used asbestos and if more could potentially have been done by his employers to protect him.”

Sinclair is no longer in existence.

Electrolux no longer trades as a shop but is still in existence as an overall brand. Nobody at the firm was available for comment.

Anyone with information should contact Martyn Hayward at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office on 0114 274 4615 or email