Roger Fowler was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 1992. At the time, he had no idea the diagnosis was connected to his work at General Electric in Peterborough.
“I got sick on March break and I went to the doctor’s,” Fowler said. “I called them on the weekend. They said, ‘don’t go to work Monday.’ I didn’t.
Fowler fought for for compensation for the illness he believed was caused while working at the plant. After fighting for years, he finally has some good news, having received compensation for his health troubles.
“Your life changes completely,” Fowler said. “You can do anything you want. I am covered medically now, head to toe. I don’t have to worry about looking after appliances and material that I have to have — I just go and get it.”
Though Fowler says he’s now living a different life, it’s not one without worry.
“It’s a different mental battle but you never stop worrying about everyone else. Yes, I got justice, but everybody else didn’t get justice,” he said.
Not everyone battling for compensation, however, has gotten the coverage Fowler says they deserve. He plans on continuing to fight for his coworkers and he says his case has set a new standard when it comes to dealing with asbestos-related claims.
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“Asbestos now, because of my acceptance and the letter of acceptance I got said, it’s very unique and set a precedence,” Fowler said. “They will use my asbestos as to how they will deal with asbestos in Peterborough or across Canada.”
The final day of manufacturing at GE was Dec. 21. Fifty people now work on site in engineering and sales.