Wigan grandad died of industrial diseases

A grandfather who spent decades working in the mines and factories died from industrial diseases, a coroner ruled.

Friday, 28th June 2019, 11:05 am
Updated Friday, 28th June 2019, 12:05 pm
Roy Causey
Roy Causey

Roy Causey, of Cranfield Road, Hawkley, was admitted to Wigan Infirmary with pneumonia and died on September 27 after his health deteriorated.

But an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court heard several other conditions contributed to his death.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Causey, 87, had ischaemic heart disease, malignant mesothelioma and coal workers’ lung disease.

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Doctors told his family they thought he had mesothelioma just days before he died.

While tests carried out after the father-of-two’s death did not find asbestos fibres, the inquest heard it may be that they could not be detected many years later.

Consultant pathologist Dr David Barker said: “For mesothelioma to develop you likely have some level of asbestos exposure.”

The inquest was told Mr Causey left school at 14 and went to work on the coal face at Bickershaw Colliery and Alexandra Mine in Whelley.

He spent 18 years there, before working in a convenience store with his wife Kathleen for six years.

Mr Causey then went to work as a machinist in factories, initially at Jefferson Smurfit packaging company.

The inquest heard the factory burned down in 1970 and there were reports of clouds of asbestos in the air.

He then worked in another factory, where the roof was made of asbestos, before he retired in his late 50s.

The Wigan Warriors fan went to matches with his son Roy and loved holidays.

He had angina for many years, had a heart bypass in 2010 and was diagnosed with lung condition pulmonary fibrosis three years


Coroner John Pollard said many people get heart disease with age, but Mr Causey likely had mesothelioma and coal workers’ lung disease due to his working life.

While there was no evidence he worked with large amounts of asbestos, he did work in places where it was found.

Mr Pollard said: “I think of the three conditions, one of them was natural but the other two are unnatural in the sense that they were caused by the conditions that he was working in.

“I think of the three conditions, certainly the most significant problems were the coal workers’ lung disease and the mesothelioma.

“I have no hesitation whatsoever in agreeing the medical cause of death as set out by Dr Barker and on the basis of that I find that Mr Causey died as a result of industrial diseases.”

After the inquest, Mr Causey’s relatives described him as a “family man” who “doted on his grandchildren” and enjoyed his life.

They said he had been devoted to his wife and nursed her until her death from dementia in 2014, visiting her for hours each day when she moved into a care