The family of a South West London man who died from asbestos related disease has received compensation of £89,000. 

Alan Terry, 76, a member of train drivers’ union ASLEF died just seven months after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. 

There is no cure for mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Exposed to asbestos working for British Rail

Alan was exposed to asbestos while working for British Rail from 1952 until 1996. He started working when he was 20 at the Streatham Hill depot cleaning locomotives and worked his way up to become a train driver in Victoria before he retired after 44 years of service.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in December 2007 after attending his GP complaining about loss of energy and breathlessness. An x-ray showed he had fluid on his lungs.

Alan was the full time carer of his partner, Olive. He decided to pursue compensation after he became too ill to ensure she was provided for. His union referred him to asbestos compensation specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, for advice.

Brother made claim for compensation

Sadly Mr Terry and his partner died leaving his brother aged 64, to pursue the claim.

Alan’ s brother said: “After Alan and Olive died I decided to take the claim on in my brother’s memory. The compensation was less important than making sure Alan’s employer recognised the lives they had ruined by exposing him to asbestos.”

Thompsons successfully settled the claim out of court after British Rail admitted liability.

Keith Norman ASLEF General Secretary said: “Asbestos was commonly used as fireproofing in locomotives resulting in many of our members being exposed to a risk of fatal disease. Many, like Mr Terry, were unaware of the dangers.”

Lorna Webster from Thompsons Solicitors said: “The union’s legal service has decades of experience of pursuing asbestos claims with the expertise that our clients and their families can rely on to deal with tragic cases like this sensitively, efficiently and at no cost to themselves.”