Thompsons Solicitors’ dedicated team of lawyers in the North West who fight for compensation on behalf of people suffering from asbestos related disease have recovered more than £670,000 in damages for five UNISON members in the last 12 months.

Its legal experts are reminding members and their friends and family who have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease that they may be entitled to compensation.

Thompsons Solicitors specialist asbestos team, based in Manchester and Liverpool, has successfully obtained compensation on behalf of members and their families who suffer from asbestos related disease.

Workers exposed to asbestos

In the North West generations of workers were exposed to asbestos in industries including oil refineries, chemical plants, shipyards and in Turner and Newall’s asbestos factories. Many others were exposed to asbestos during employment in factories, building sites and even in hospitals, schools and canteens.

Thompsons’ specialist legal team provides assistance to people with asbestos related diseases including, mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening.

The UNISON members who received compensation include a gardener diagnosed with mesothelioma who was awarded £205,000.

Mr Gafney, 57, from Liverpool was exposed to asbestos while working for the University of Liverpool during the 1980s.

He used to take his lunch breaks in the boiler room which had asbestos insulation.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Following his diagnosis, Mr Gaffney contacted UNISON and Thompsons, as its solicitors, pursued the claim in the High Court.

Mr Gaffney said: “I am pleased that we have won, but this is still a death sentence. “As far as we were concerned we were safe at work, but I have since learnt about the dangers of asbestos,”

Meanwhile former plasterer Anthony Martin, 65, from Blacon, Cheshire received £45,000 for developing pleural thickening.

The provisional settlement will allow Mr Martin to re-open the claim if his health deteriorates, particularly due to his risk of developing the fatal cancer mesothelioma.

Exposed to asbestos working as a plasterer

He was exposed to asbestos working as a plasterer at Chester College, now Chester University. During this time, he helped a joiner insulate the college theatre roof using asbestos but was not given any protection or warned of the dangers to his health.

Mr Martin said: “The compensation is a relief, but I’d rather have my health back. The most important thing for me is knowing that my wife and family will be compensated if the worst does happen.”

Head of Thompsons Solicitors regional asbestos litigation team, Diana Fos said: “During the last year the compensation we have won for UNISON members and their families has made a real difference to their lives. Many of them were seriously disabled or terminally ill because they were negligently exposed to asbestos during their employment. They have been able to pursue successful claims with the support of their union without it costing them a penny.”

However she added that many UNISON members may not be aware that they are entitled to the union’s support if diagnosed with an asbestos related disease.

She said: “The use of asbestos products was commonplace in a wide range of workplaces in the North West over the last 50 years and remains present in many public buildings today. It is important that UNISON members are aware that they are entitled to free legal advice through the union if they are suffering from an asbestos related disease.”