A 40 year old mother of two boys aged one & six, has recently been diagnosed with the incurable disease “Mesothelioma”. 

Dear Mr. Oren,

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

Our beautiful 40 year old daughter, a mother of two boys ages one and six, has recently been diagnosed with the incurable disease “Mesothelioma”. 

We were all devastated to receive this diagnosis and hope and pray that medical research will be able to find a cure. It is heartbreaking to try and come to terms with the fact that our family will be torn apart by something that could so easily have been avoided.

This diagnosis of an asbestos related disease was a terrible shock to our family. There is no cure for these cruel diseases and we are all still trying to come to terms with the life-changing impact. Some of us have already lost the loved one who was affected by the disease.
What we will never come to terms with is the knowledge that these diseases were entirely preventable. If the warnings on the dangers of asbestos had been acted upon, thousands of families would not have had to experience the dramatic impact that these diseases have or mourn the loss of their loved ones.

To find out that Cape, one of the largest asbestos companies in the world, knowingly and deliberately withheld from the authorities the real danger of their asbestos products, for profit, has added to our trauma. This would never have come to light, but for the legal case taken by the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum (AVSGF) to force disclosure of Cape’s documents. I am shocked and angry that Cape put so many lives at risk.

Your company, Altrad, bought Cape in 2017 and has benefitted financially from the purchase of a very profitable company. From 2017 to 2020 Cape, at enormous cost, fought AVSGF in court to prevent disclosure of its historical documents, when you should have simply handed over the documents for public health reasons. Instead, you were prepared to pay excessive amounts in legal fees to defend the indefensible. The documents are significant for public health reasons because Cape Asbestolux was used in the construction of schools, hospitals and many other public buildings. These buildings are now deteriorating and schoolteachers, pupils, doctors, nurses and many others are being exposed to asbestos by simply being in those buildings. It is significant that the younger the age a person has been exposed to asbestos, the higher the risk, that person is likely to develop mesothelioma.

The government estimates that there are about 7,500 deaths from asbestos diseases per year. This figure includes 2,500 deaths from mesothelioma. That is why AVSGF has campaigned for Altrad/Cape to honour its moral obligation to atone for the destruction of so many lives by donating £10 million towards mesothelioma research. Yours is a multinational company with huge resources, still trading profitably. A significant donation for mesothelioma research would help restore your company’s reputation.

My hope is that you will now agree to such a donation. We will never give up on this vital campaign in honour of all those who have needlessly died and to give those who are suffering, some hope for the future. We will remember the dead and continue to fight for the living!

Yours sincerely

George and Elizabeth Carter