Former work colleagues sought after husband’s sudden asbestos related death

Kilburn widow appeals for help

A WIDOW has appealed for her husband’s former work colleagues to get in touch following his sudden death last year.

Roberto Martinez, who lived off Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, died on May 28, 2010, at the age of 80, after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, a painful cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, three weeks earlier.

American-born Mr Martinez, who was stationed in England with the US Army in 1948, spent 25 years working in the construction industry in London between 1969 and 1993.

His wife Kathleen, 77, who met Roberto in 1951 and married the following year, believes his death was linked to his work and hopes old workmates can provide information that will help in her fight to win compensation.

Lesley Mynett, of Fentons Solicitors who is representing Mrs Martinez, said: “Other than suffering from a stomach ulcer, Roberto had always been a fit and healthy man, but all that changed last year.”

Mrs Martinez said: “Robert only went to the doctor because he was having pains in his chest and was struggling with his breathing. The doctor examined him and said we should immediately go to the hospital. That’s when he was diagnosed.”

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However his condition deteriorated rapidly and he succumbed to his illness in a matter of weeks.

Roberto, who lived in Finchley and Bayswater before moving to Kilburn in 1971, worked for Holland, Hannen and Cubitts Southern Ltd which was taken over by, and became, Tarmac Regional Construction.

But Miss Mynett said: “Unfortunately as is often the case with men of Roberto’s generation, he kept his work and family life very separate, so finding former colleagues who can help us show he was exposed to asbestos during his work is proving difficult.

“Roberto has paid an enormous price for working dutifully. Hopefully with the help of his former colleagues, his family can win their fight for justice and start rebuilding their lives.”

*If you remember working with Roberto Martinez in construction or refurbishment between 1969 and 1993 call Lesley Mynett on 0161 238 6417 or email