Death claim at Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Share this article
Have your say

A GRIEVING wife whose husband committed suicide after developing a deadly lung disease is suing Blackpool Pleasure Beach for up to £200,000.

Christopher Duck hanged himself in December last year after being diagnosed with terminal, malignant mesothelioma.

Mr Duck who was a joiner, worked in maintenance at the fun park for more than 10 years between 1989 and 2000.

Now his family have taken the case to the high court claiming his illness was caused by exposure to asbestos dust and fibres during his years working there.

A High Court writ has been issued to the Pleasure Beach on behalf of the family’s solicitor.

His widow Valerie, who lives in South Shore, has branded the company “negligent” saying it failed to provide protective clothing and washing facilities.

She says she spent more than 1,000 hours caring for her husband in the six months before his death and believes he could have lived another decade.

Mr Duck was found hanged three months after being diagnosed. The writ states: “He hanged himself, in a state of despair because of his impending death from mesothelioma.

“Hours earlier, he had discharged himself from hospital after becoming very upset seeing a patient with severe breathing difficulties.

“Although he had a history for anxiety with panic, he had no history of depression or suicidal tendencies, and he would not have committed suicide if he had not had mesothelioma,”

The writ details how Mr Duck developed a cough and breathlessness in 2008, and saw his doctor in June 2010.

He underwent tests, but declined palliative radiotherapy and chemotherapy. His breathing deteriorated, and he was admitted to hospital on December 10, 2010.

He became very distressed after seeing a patient with severe breathing problems, and discharged himself the next day. The writ claims exposure to asbestos was a regular part of Mr Duck’s job at the Pleasure Beach.

It says: “Many of the buildings on site contained asbestos, which was used as fire resistant panelling and for underlining ceilings, which he cut and drilled with power and hand tools.

“He was not given respiratory protection, except paper masks which were ineffective, and there was no ventilation despite the presence of asbestos insulation board.”

Mrs Duck has also accused the company of failing to warn her husband him of the risks he ran, and failed to heed the warning after other staff contracted asbestos related diseases.

A Pleasure Beach spokesman said: “We were contacted in May by solicitors acting on behalf of Mrs Duck intimating a claim arising out of the sad death of her husband.

“Her solicitors have subsequently issued court proceedings which are being dealt with by the solicitors acting on behalf of our insurers.

“While we were very sorry to learn of the death of Mr Duck, it would be inappropriate to comment on the allegations, which are under investigation by our solicitors.”