Bob Tucker, 63 year old Unite member and Thompsons Solicitors client

A former electrical engineer has received a £425,000 settlement and provisions to cover future medical treatment after being diagnosed with asbestos disease.

Bob Tucker worked as an electrician for a paper manufacturer between 1969 and 1978, where asbestos was used to lag many of its machines.

The 63-year-old Unite the union member would often breathe in the toxic dust, as he wasn’t provided with safety equipment and ventilation in the factory was poor.

Bob had intended to emigrate to Spain in the summer of 2015, however, earlier that year he began suffering breathing problems and an x-ray in May spotted a shadow on his lung. This was later diagnosed as mesothelioma, an asbestos-related disease.

He remained in the UK, where he contacted Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors to make an asbestos disease compensation claim.

They secured £425,000 for Bob, which helped replace his lost earnings and cover expenses incurred as a result of his illness.

In addition, they obtained a court order that requires the employer to pay his medical costs should he require treatment, such as immunotherapy, in the future, up to an initial figure of £100,000 but with provision for more should he need it.

"Unite Legal Services is proud to support our members who have suffered because of this avoidable disease. The efforts of our legal specialists helped not only secure substantial compensation for Bob but also ensure further provisions for future care."

Ritchie James, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union

He said: “One minute I was planning to live abroad, the next I was being told that I had a fatal and irreversible disease. I had no idea how to deal with it and my situation seemed hopeless.

“I contacted Unite Legal Services and Thompsons Solicitors who, thankfully, were excellent. They immediately offered me support in starting my compensation claim. I was worried that the legal process would take a long time, but they did everything very quickly. They kept me updated along the way, securing the money that will allow me to pay for treatments to make life much more comfortable as I cope with my disease.”

Ritchie James, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “Mesothelioma is a horrific disease that can develop suddenly and rapidly decades after the exposure to asbestos has taken place. Bob’s plan to move abroad with his family was crushed by the diagnosis of this disease, which was caused by the negligence of his former employer.

“Unite Legal Services is proud to support our members who have suffered because of this avoidable disease. The efforts of our legal specialists helped not only secure substantial compensation for Bob but also ensure further provisions for future care. The cost of treatment that is not currently available on the NHS, such as some forms of immunotherapy, is extremely high, so specialised lawyers are necessary to ensure that these costs are claimed and successfully recovered.

“All of this, as is the case for every case backed by Unite Legal Services, will be free from any deductions from the final amount.”