A shipyard worker who developed a fatal cancer after being exposed to asbestos whilst working in Merseyside shipyards has received compensation from his former employers.

The 80-year-old from Liverpool was diagnosed with asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, in February 2011.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which takes decades to develop.

The Unite member was exposed to asbestos whilst working for a number of Merseyside-based shipyards from around 1956 to 1964.

Removing asbestos from boilers on ships

His work involved removing asbestos from ships’ boilers. He was never provided with suitable protective equipment or warned about the dangers of asbestos.

Following his diagnosis the dad-of-11 and granddad-of-18 was determined to claim compensation to ensure his wife and family are provided for in the future.

After contacting the Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group he instructed asbestos claim specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice about compensation. His trade union Unite stepped in to support his claim.

Thompsons acted urgently to obtain an interim payment from his employers in four months and eight weeks later the claim was settled in full for £127,750.

Compensation received quickly

The shipyard worker said: “Having worked hard all my life to look after my family, my decision to claim compensation was always about making sure my wife was provided for after I’m gone. It’s a great relief to know that this money is now in place. I’m grateful to Thompsons and Unite for their support in making sure that my claim was dealt with so quickly.”

Paul Finegan North West Regional secretary for Unite said: “The union will support all of our current and former members who suffer asbestos disease. Sadly too many go on to develop mesothelioma, a fatal type of cancer. They can count on the union to make our specialist legal service available to support them and their families in their hour of need.”

Joanne Candlish from Thompsons Solicitors added: “The client was very poorly when he first contacted us. It was vitally important to get him the maximum compensation during his lifetime because he wanted to know his family would be financially secure. The steps I took to progress his claim urgently meant he received his compensation in full six months after his diagnosis.”

John Flanagan from Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group added: “The legacy of asbestos in Merseyside sadly means we have supported thousands of victims of asbestos disease in finding information and support. We are pleased to work with Thompsons Solicitors to ensure that this victim and his family receive full and proper compensation quickly and a sense of justice for the illness he has suffered due to his employers’ negligence.”