A Mesothelioma Sufferer Writes a Letter to Cape/Altrad – In support of our Cape Must Pay campaign, Tony, a mesothelioma sufferer, makes a plea to Cape/Altrad to pay £10 million towards medical research. He states “While it may be too late for me, the contribution has the potential to make a profound difference in the lives of many others”

A Mesothelioma Sufferer's Letter

Tuesday, 6th February 2024

Dear Mr. Oren,

Re: Disclosure of Cape documents and £10m mesothelioma research donation

I was diagnosed with mesothelioma on 21st July 2020.

The diagnosis has undoubtedly left a profound mark on both myself and my family, significantly influencing various facets of our lives. Throughout this journey, we’ve encountered moments filled with apprehension and ambiguity, particularly regarding what the future holds amidst the uncertainty surrounding treatment options and the quest for a cure.

Suffering from a preventable disease has not only affected my physical health but has also taken a significant toll on my emotional and mental well-being. The knowledge that my illness could have been avoided had appropriate measures been taken is a burden I carry every day. It is a constant reminder of missed opportunities for prevention and the importance of proactive health measures.

Beyond the personal implications, the ripple effects of suffering from a preventable disease extend to my family, friends, and loved ones. Witnessing their anguish and worry as they support me through this journey adds another layer of emotional weight to an already challenging situation. Their unwavering support and encouragement have been invaluable, but the pain of knowing that my illness could have been prevented is a burden I wish they didn’t have to bear.

Discovering that Cape, one of the world’s largest asbestos companies, intentionally concealed the true dangers of their asbestos products from authorities, solely for profit, has compounded my trauma. This revelation, brought to light through the legal actions of the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum (AVSGF) to compel Cape to disclose its documents, has left me feeling deeply shocked
and outraged.

I am filled with a profound sense of anger and betrayal towards Cape for callously endangering countless lives. Their actions have caused irreparable harm, and I will never forgive them for prioritising profit over the well-being of individuals and communities.

Your company, Altrad, acquired Cape in 2017, reaping significant financial gains from the acquisition of a highly profitable enterprise. However, between 2017 and 2020, Cape expended substantial resources in a protracted legal battle against the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum (AVSGF) to obstruct the disclosure of its historical documents. Instead of prioritising public health by promptly
surrendering these documents, you chose to allocate exorbitant sums towards defending indefensible actions in court.

The importance of these documents cannot be overstated, particularly concerning public health. Cape’s asbestos product, Asbestolux, was extensively utilised in the construction of numerous public facilities, including schools and hospitals. Now, as these structures deteriorate, individuals such as schoolteachers, students, healthcare professionals, and others face heightened risks of asbestos exposure simply by occupying these buildings. It is crucial to acknowledge that the younger the age of exposure, the greater the likelihood of developing mesothelioma, a devastating consequence of asbestos exposure.

Annually, over 5,000 lives are claimed by asbestos-related diseases, including more than 2,500 attributed to mesothelioma alone. This underscores the urgent need for Altrad/Cape to fulfil its moral obligation by contributing £10 million towards mesothelioma research, as advocated by AVSGF.

Despite being a multinational corporation with substantial resources, Altrad continues to thrive financially, notwithstanding the December 2022 conviction of your group President, billionaire Mohed Altrad, by the French Courts for bribery and misuse of corporate assets. A significant donation towards mesothelioma research would not only serve as a step towards redemption but also contribute to restoring the company’s tarnished reputation.

Regrettably, thus far, Altrad has refused to make such a donation. Therefore, I implore you to reconsider and commit to the £10 million contribution. Such a gesture would be transformative, instilling hope in countless mesothelioma sufferers, both present and future. While it may be too late for me, this contribution holds the potential to make a profound difference in the lives of many others in the years ahead.