The widow of an electrician whose death was caused by exposure to asbestos while rewiring a police station has received £250,000 in compensation.

The member of the trade union Unite from Trowbridge was diagnosed with asbestos related cancer mesothelioma in March 2008 and sadly died just five months later.

His widow, who does not wish to be named, has received the compensation after his former employer Southern Electrical Contracting Limited admitted negligently exposing her husband to asbestos during the 1970s.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs caused by asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which affects more than 2,000 people every year. It can develop decades after the asbestos exposure took place and many sufferers die within months of diagnosis.

Exposed to asbestos while working

The 64-year-old was exposed to asbestos while working as an electrical fitter for Southern Electrical Contracting Limited. Before he died he described how he came into contact with asbestos when rewiring Frome Police Station.

He said: “I remember clearly that we had to work in cramped conditions. As a result we knocked and leaned against the asbestos lagged piping which meant parts would break off. We did not have any protective equipment but there was asbestos dust everywhere.”

Following his diagnosis he contacted his union Unite which instructed its lawyers to investigate the claim. Thompsons Solicitors brought the case to a successful conclusion for compensation of £250,000.

Laurence Faircloth from Unite said: “Mesothelioma is a terrible disease and we are only too pleased to have supported this claim. While the compensation can never bring back a loved one we hope it can go some way towards achieving a sense of justice for his family.”

Dave Fisher from Thompsons Solicitors said: “It was important for this union member to know that his family would be financially secure. The union’s legal service continued to support the claim for his widow. No effort or expense was spared in ensuring that the family recovered the maximum award of compensation to which they were entitled.”