The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has become the subject of multiple mesothelioma lawsuits in recent months, with the latest being filed by the family of renowned set builder Richard Evans. Evans, whose work included the popular shows Doctor Who, The Lotus Eaters, and Hard Times, died of the rare asbestos-related disease in 2019.
According to the lawsuit filed by the mesothelioma victimʼs family, during the 23 years that he constructed, painted, and later broke down production sets, Evans inhaled asbestos dust from Artex, a material contaminated with asbestos. In a deposition provided before his death, he described cutting open bags of Artex, scooping it into a bucket and mixing it into a paste that would later be painted.
“When I was mixing the Artex and water and creating the paste, dust could clearly be seen all around me and on my bare skin, hands and my forearms and on my overalls,” he said. He said dust would also be raised when the materials were destroyed after filming was completed, but that he was never warned of its dangers.
“While working for the BBC I was not warned of the dangers of asbestos, nor was I provided with protective respiratory equipment.”
The Evansʼ mesothelioma lawsuit, according to an article on the Mesothelioma.net website, is just one of several that have been filed against the BBC in the past year. The company was also named as a defendant in a case filed by Patricia Larkin over the death of her husband Christopher, a horn player in the BBC Symphony Orchestra, as well as the family of another orchestra member. In each case the broadcasting corporation has acknowledged having exposed the men to asbestos.
Speaking of the loss of her father to mesothelioma, the set-makerʼs daughter said, “No one ever thinks that their parent wonʼt be around one day. But it is so much harder to accept when his cancer could have been avoided if he had not worked with asbestos.” The familyʼs attorneys echoed her words, saying, “It is appalling that at no time did anyone in the BBC either warn Mr Evans about the dangers of working with Artex, even though the dangers of asbestos became well-known during the time he worked for the corporation, or issue him with protective equipment, which may have reduced his risk.”
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