Man pleads for help after being diagnosed with cancer

A Croydon man is pleading for former colleagues to come forward after he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.

William McCormack, who worked as a computer operator, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer, in March 2017. The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

He believes he was exposed to this asbestos at some time during his employment with either International Computers Limited (ICL) in the 1980’s or Municipal Mutual Insurance, later taken over by Zurich Insurance Group, between 1991 to 2001.

“The building was of steel frame construction with false ceilings and a suspended floor, to cover all the computer cabling,” Mr McCormack said of ICL.

“I worked 12-hour night shifts in there.”

Of his time at MMI/Zurich, he said: “They were forever doing maintenance on the electrics up in the ceiling void and under the floor.

“The ceiling tiles used to break and were damaged when they were taken out to do maintenance. They were often replaced.”

Mr McCormack is now appealing for his former colleagues to come forward with any information about the working conditions at either of these employers.

“I had a biopsy in March 2017 and was told that my cancer was asbestos-related, and that I have mesothelioma,” he said.

“I feel out breath and tired all the time.

“I also find that I am unable to walk very far. Since having chemotherapy, there has been no improvement in my breathing and I still feel tired.”

His solicitor Isobel Lovett would like to speak with anybody who could help with the investigation.

“It is likely that Mr. McCormack contracted this disease as a result of his employers exposing him to asbestos at work and failing to protect him from this deadly substance,” she said.

If you have any information, please contact Isobel Lovett, a Partner and Head of Industrial Disease at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors on 020 7874 8502 or email

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