Humber dock worker’s family compensated for asbestos cancer death27 October 2011
Shipyard welder exposed to asbestos
The family of a Humber shipyard welder who has exposed to asbestos have received compensation with help from his trade union.
Arthur Prestidge was 80 when he died from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take 40 years or more to develop.
There is no cure for the disease and many sufferers have just months to live following diagnosis.
Mr Prestidge, who was a lifelong GMB member, was diagnosed with the cancer in July 2010. He was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a welder and boilermaker for Humber Graving Docks in Immingham from 1951 to 1986.
He worked on and off for the firm during that time and was exposed to the dust as he stripped asbestos lagging off pipes.
Many of his former colleagues suffered from asbestos related disease
The father of one, grandfather of three and great grandfather of two had seen many of his former colleagues suffer asbestos related disease.
His son David Winter said he was devastated when he was told about the diagnosis.
Mr Winter, who also worked as a welder and is a GMB member brought the claim on his mother’s behalf.
He contacted the GMB which instructed claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a case for compensation. Thompsons successfully concluded the claim for substantial damages.
He said: “My dad’s illness and death happened so fast that claiming compensation was the last thing on his mind. Over the years I have watched my dad’s friends and my own colleagues develop asbestos related disease so we knew that the GMB would be the best people to help us.
“The claim has been dealt with so quickly and professionally by the union and Thompsons Solicitors. I’d like to thank them for their support. I’d also like to thank my father’s former work colleagues who stepped forward to be witnesses to help our claim.”
Employers held to account for his death
Andy Worth from the GMB said: “Exposure to asbestos has caused serious health problems for many of our members who worked without any protection or warning of the dangers. We offer support to all our members who are disabled by asbestos related disease.
Steve Fitzwalter from Thompsons Solicitors added:
“We know that this compensation can never make up for such a devastating personal loss but hope that it will bring some sense of closure for the family by holding his employers to account for his death.”
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.