Justice for Blooms worker
by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2012-03-25
Militiades 'Milton' Charamboulous
The daughter of a former worker at Blooms in London's Whitechapel has spoken of her relief after settling a case against his former employers which had been due to go to court.
Militiades 'Milton' Charamboulous, who was originally from Cyprus, died in March 2010 of mesothelioma, an asbestos-related lung cancer which his family believe was caused by his years working at the iconic East London restaurant.
The 70-year-old, who worked in the restaurant for 30 years, spent much of his time there sorting linen in the basement, close to a boiler and pipes lagged with asbestos-related materials.
His family took legal action against owners M Bloom (Kosher) and Son Ltd after an inquest into Mr Charambolous' death revealed mesothelioma was the cause.
The company initially denied liability - but agreed in a last-minute settlement to pay his family £70,790.
His daughter Helen Michael said, "We were all absolutely devastated at dad's sudden death and we were desperate for answers as to who was responsible for him coming into contact with asbestos.
"He loved working at Blooms restaurant and being part of what he described was an institution in the local community. We're relieved that my father's case has now been settled and we can share our memories of him without this hanging over us."
Their representative Nicola Maier, an asbestos-related disease expert at solicitors Irwin Mitchell, added, "The settlement secured today means the family will be provided for and they can now start to move forward with their lives knowing there has been some justice for the huge loss they suffered."
Mr Charambolous, who had three children and nine grandchildren, began working at Blooms in the 1960s after moving to the UK.
The Whitechapel restaurant closed in 1996, although two further branches were opened in Edgware and Golders Green. Both have since closed, the Golders Green branch being the final one to shut down in 2010.