The family of an engineer who died from asbestos related disease mesothelioma has received compensation of £230,000.

The 65-year-old member of the trade union Unite, from Exeter, died just a few months after he was diagnosed with the devastating disease.

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

He was exposed to the dust while working for Joseph Lucas Ltd, now known as Lucas Industries, from 1960 until the 1980s.

He started working for the Birmingham-based company as a craft apprentice before becoming a method engineer.

Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in August 2009. The DIY enthusiast hoped to continue working part time until his retirement but was forced to give up work as the disease took hold. Despite undergoing radical medical treatment in Germany he died in December 2009.

Following his diagnosis he contacted his union Unite which instructed asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice.

Thompsons’ careful examination of his work history established that he had come into contact with asbestos when carrying out heat tests wearing asbestos gauntlets during the 1960s.

He said: “I used asbestos gloves to protect my hands when I was heating components to high temperatures. I never knew the risks of asbestos and was never given any warning or training.”

After his death his widow continued the claim for compensation. Thompsons successfully settled the claim out of court.

Many people have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace

Laurence Faircloth from Unite said: “Sadly many of our members have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace. This member and his widow received the union’s full support in claiming compensation when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. The union’s legal service has decades of experience of pursuing asbestos claims with the expertise that our members and their families can rely on to deal with tragic cases like this sensitively, efficiently and at no cost.”

Ginny Newman from Thompsons Solicitors said: “The shock of being diagnosed with mesothelioma means it can be difficult for some clients to recall exactly how they were exposed to asbestos, particularly as the events can have happened at work 40 or 50 years ago. This client was able to bring the details to mind as a result of our patient, detailed and careful examination of his work history. This evidence made all the difference to obtaining substantial compensation for his family and emphasises the importance of seeking specialist legal advice.”