A fitter who feels robbed of the enjoyment of his retirement by the illness caused by his former employers has received £60,000 provisional compensation for asbestos disease.

Martin Greenbeck, 67, from Laceby, North Lincolnshire was diagnosed with asbestosis and pleural thickening in May 2010 after complaining about a cough and breathlessness.

The conditions were caused by exposure to asbestos at work for three employers during the 1960s and 70s.

All three companies never warned him about the dangers of asbestos or provided any protection.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

The lung disease has left Mr Greenbeck unable to walk long distances. A former keen runner and cyclist he now suffers from breathlessness which prevents him from exercising. He has also had to give up his hobbies of DIY and gardening.

Following his diagnosis the granddad of three contacted his trade union, Unite, which instructed specialist asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.

Thompsons obtained evidence which led all three employers to admit liability. Thompsons then achieved a provisional settlement of £60,000 for Mr Greenbeck as well as a court order which allows him to reopen the claim and obtain further compensation if his condition worsens or if he develops the fatal asbestos disease mesothelioma.

He said: “Suffering from lung disease was never part of the deal with my employers. It was never suggested to me how dangerous asbestos was and that there was a risk that instead of enjoying a long healthy retirement I would end up disabled and unwell.

“All my life I’ve kept myself fit but instead of enjoying the fruits of that in retirement I’m barely able to walk any distance at all.”

No protection against asbestos provided

Adrian Axtell regional secretary at Unite said: “Many of our members have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace particularly during the early years of their careers. As a union we work hard to ensure our members are protected and are fully compensated if they go on to develop asbestos related diseases. “

Nicola Harrison from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Greenbeck’s employers failed to provide him with adequate protection against asbestos even though he was working with it on a daily basis. It was typical of the casual disregard for health and safety that many employers were guilty of at the time.

“One of the benefits of his trade union membership is that he was entitled to free legal assistance which helped bring about the successful outcome of his compensation claim.”