The family of a former City bank worker, who died of asbestos-related cancer aged 49, are appealing for help as to how she developed the illness that claimed her life.
Lisa Goldsworthy, a mother-of-two, was employed by Kleinwort Benson, between 1995 and 2003. She spent around four years at the investment bank’s Fenchurch Street base before the site was demolished, and replaced with the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building.
Lisa, known as Lisa Sampson during her time with the bank, died in March 2019, from mesothelioma, a terminal form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure.
Following her death Lisa’s family, including mum Jackie Sampson, instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate where she was exposed to the hazardous material.
The family have now joined their legal team in appealing for help from former employees of the bank. They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who was based at the Fenchurch Street building during renovation works in 1996. Before her death Lisa, of Whitstable, Kent, believed she may have been exposed to asbestos during the work.
Ian Bailey, the Partner and an asbestos-related disease expert at Irwin Mitchell representing Lisa’s family, said:
“Sadly through our work we see the devastating effects that exposure to asbestos can have on families.
“Lisa’s death from mesothelioma at such a young age is a stark reminder of how dangerous the material is and how its unwanted legacy is still felt by families.
“Lisa was so loved by her family and friends. Understandably they are still devastated by her death and have many unanswered questions.
“We know that the old building had a huge amount of asbestos removed on more than one occasion. If anyone who worked on Kleinwort Benson recalls the renovations in the 1990s, I would ask them to come forward to help us to piece together what happened at that time. Even the smallest piece of information could make all the difference for Lisa’s family.”
Lisa, who had a son and daughter, William and Pippa, now aged 23 and 21, joined Kleinwort Benson in 1995 as a secretary. She was principally based on the 20th floor in the corporate finance department but her role would also see her cover in other departments on different floors.
In 2000 she joined the bank’s credit risk team and was based at Riverbank House until she left the firm in 2003 and trained to become a teacher.
The original building was demolished in 2008 and replaced with the new structure.
Before demolition of the previous building it was reported that asbestos had been found and had to be removed from the site.
Lisa started experiencing chest pains and wheeziness in June 2017. Following tests she was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
An inquest in 2019 concluded that on the balance of probabilities, Lisa died of industrial disease.
Assistant coroner James Dillon said she “had been exposed to asbestos in an office environment during her working life.”
"Lisa started feeling unwell but just thought it was probably down to working too hard. Obviously it goes without saying that her diagnosis came as a massive shock to everyone. It was the last thing she expected.
“She tried to remain as upbeat and as strong as possible but it got to the stage where the cancer took over.
Losing her in the way we did was incredibly difficult and there’s not a day goes by where we don’t miss her.
“That she’s not here to see the children grow up and celebrate milestones in life such as them starting work or getting married is the hardest thing. She would be so proud of them.
“After her diagnosis Lisa said she wondered if she had been exposed during the renovation works at the bank. She really enjoyed her job and said it was an incredibly busy and dynamic place but said the office was quite tired looking and wasn’t particularly swanky.
“We know nothing can ever make up for Lisa’s death but I would ask anyone who can remember Lisa working at the office and the work being undertaken in 1996 to come forward and help.
“It could make all the difference to honouring Lisa’s memory and answering the concerns we have.”