The widow of a Unite member has won a substantial compensation payment after her husband was exposed to lethal asbestos dust in the workplace.

David Hines from Birkenhead was 73 when he died just two months after he was diagnosed with cancer of the lining of the lung mesothelioma.

Grandad David was exposed to asbestos during his work as a plumber for Wirral Borough Council between 1955 and 1965 and at VSEL Birkenhead / Cammell Lairds, between 1965 and 1993 where he was a plumber working on board various ships and vessels.

During both jobs he was exposed to asbestos used by nearby laggers. He also had to cut asbestos lagging.

Feared he would die from an asbestos related disease

His widow, Anne, 67, said David always feared he would die from an asbestos related disease after a friend he used to work with contracted asbestosis.

She said when he became ill he attempted to pursue compensation to ensure his family were cared for following his death.

She added that he would be delighted that his case had finally been won.

She said: “A friend of David’s died of asbestosis and at the time he said ‘I used to work with it’. He said he could see the dust around him but never believed it would harm him. He said some of the workers used to pick it up and throw it around.

“When he was diagnosed he got in touch with the union to find out what his options were but he was too ill to finish off his claim. He wanted me to carry it on for him.

“It was worrying to him that I might be left struggling to pay all the bills. He would be delighted to know that we had won compensation.

She added: “It seems so unfair that David died before he was able to see our daughter graduate as a nurse and before he could see his third grandchild. We feel he missed out on these things because he worked with asbestos.”

Unite regional secretary Laurence Faircloth said: “It is important for victims of asbestos related diseases and their family members to claim compensation from the insurers of their former employers to achieve a sense of justice.

“We will continue to fight to ensure asbestos victims, retain their right to claim full compensation for the injuries they have suffered through merely carrying out a hard day’s work.”

Matthew Tollitt of Thompsons Solicitors in Liverpool, who dealt with the claim on behalf of Unite, said: “We are pleased to have helped this family to successfully claim damages for David’s exposure to asbestos.

“At Thompsons we work hard to ensure that our clients gain justice and proper compensation for their condition.”