Caped defenders of Justice take on Cape offenders of Justice
A demonstration held outside Cape/Altrad, Head Office in Warrington by the Asbestos Victim’s Support Groups Forum UK dressed as Caped Defenders of Justice on 30th September 2022 at 1pm to demand that Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd pay £10million towards medical research to find a cure for mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos. Cape Intermediate Holdings played a central role in causing thousands of needless industrial deaths from the sale of asbestos products from which they profited.
The National Asbestos Victims Support Groups’ Forum UK won an historic legal victory which proved Cape intentionally withheld evidence on the risks of exposure to asbestos from their product known as Asbestolux which is an asbestos insulation board used widely in many buildings including hospitals and schools. The Supreme Court granted access to documents which are now publicly available.
Joanne Gordon, Chair of the Forum explained “Thanks to the Forum’s case against Cape Intermediate Holdings many victims who may have previously been denied compensation will have a greater chance of justice thanks to the evidence contained in documents now freely available. That’s a modern day superhero story”
The campaign has received cross party support from 36 MP’s. However, the directors of Cape and parent company ALTRAD are yet to respond to several letters which set out our demands. Most notably, Ran Oren, CEO of Altrad, Lord Desai, a Labour peer in the House of Lords and former Labour MP for Gravesham, Chris Pond, both sit as directors of a Cape subsidiary called Cape Claims Services Ltd.
Due to the lack of response, dressed as Caped defenders of justice demonstrated outside Cape’s parent company ALTRAD Services’ headquarters at
Altrad, Appleton Thorn Trading Estate, 3f Lyncastle Way, Warrington WA4 4ST
On Friday 30th September 2022 at 1pm.
Joanne continued “We need to find a cure for mesothelioma, a devastating disease caused by asbestos and Cape can afford to pay. Parodying their name we are taking to the streets as superheroes to fight for mesothelioma victims and demand £10 million with hope for a cure.”
Many who access the Forum’s services worked either in Cape’s asbestos factories or with products like Asbestolux, which Cape produced and profited greatly from. One service user, former joiner and victim of an asbestos related disease describes a typical experience of Asbestolux use:
‘’no one said it was dangerous, I went home covered in it every time I used it . . . and what’s more, I used to travel home on public transport!’’
The wife of a man who worked at Cape’s factories in Hebden Bridge provided this devastating statement following her husband’s diagnosis of mesothelioma:
’’A young man, with a young family, moved to Hebden bridge to support his family … he was given no support, no mask, no nothing’’
This account and the many other similar accounts illustrate the sheer lack of respect Cape showed for human lives. Despite a total ban on asbestos products in 1999, there were 2,544 deaths from mesothelioma in 2020 and asbestos related injuries are still the UK’s biggest workplace killer. This is due to a latency period between exposure and illness which is typically between 10 and 60 years. Cape’s refusal to voluntarily disclose their documents and to agree to the Forum’s demand that they be placed into the public domain, for public health reasons, continues to devastate lives.
Whilst the £10million we demand does not compare to the vast profits Cape recorded as their employees were knowingly exposed to life-threatening asbestos fibres – it may well provide a lifeline to those who suffer from mesothelioma in the future. “
To hear more about the Forum’s campaign and to access the documents retrieved in the landmark legal case against Cape, please contact Joanne Gordon:
email@example.com / 07805 382312