A member of the UK’s largest union, Unite, who was diagnosed with lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos, has won provisional compensation.

The former welder, aged 73, from Liverpool, who does not want to be named, has received £20,000 in provisional damages after he was diagnosed with asbestos related lung cancer in August 2006.

He was exposed to asbestos while working as a welder at Cammell Laird shipyard, as an engineer for Birds Eye Foods and while employed by Laker Vent Engineering.

Half of Lung removed after diagnosis of Lung Cancer

The granddad-of-three, who has never smoked, had half his lung removed immediately following his diagnosis but has been told there is a high risk of the cancer returning.

He contacted Unite after being advised by his doctors to claim compensation for his condition. He said it is a relief to know if the lung cancer returns that his family will be provided for.

He said: “I was devastated when I found out that I had lung cancer. The doctor said if I did not have the operation I would not see him again. The operation went well and I am lucky to be alive but it is always at the back of your mind that it will return.

“Claiming compensation was the last thing on my mind but the nurses at the hospital told me I should contact my union. I am glad I did because I now know my family will be provided for if the lung cancer returns in the future.

“The money we have received so far has certainly made life easier.”

Victim can claim compensation again if the Lung Cancer returns

Unite Regional Secretary Laurence Faircloth said: “We are pleased this case has been settled on behalf of our member and that he has been able to enjoy the benefit of compensation now and has the protection for his family in the future.

“Unite will continue to fight on behalf of its current and retired members who are suffering from asbestos related disease to ensure they are fully compensated.”

Unite instructed lawyers, Thompsons Solicitors, to deal with the claim.

The firm specialises in asbestos compensation claims and has offices in Liverpool.

Client Representative Joanne Candlish from Thompsons said: “Lung cancer cases are particularly difficult as there are many issues to overcome, but this case demonstrates that we can, and do, succeed.

“As the claim was settled on a provisional basis the client has the peace of mind knowing that if, God forbid, the cancer does recur or he develops another asbestos related disease he can re-open his claim for further compensation.”