An asbestos cancer victim has received substantial compensation from the electricity company he worked for almost 40 years after he was exposed to the dangerous dust.

The 58-year-old was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a type of cancer of the lining of the lungs, in August 2010 after suffering from breathlessness. He has been retired for three years.

He was first exposed to asbestos as a 16-year-old working at Sizewell A Nuclear Power Station in Suffolk in 1969 as an apprentice mechanical craftsman / fitter.

His job involved power station repair work which brought him into contact with asbestos during the 1970s on an almost daily basis. At the time he was not given adequate protection from the dust and was not warned about the dangers it could pose to his health.

After his diagnosis he contacted his trade union Unite which instructed asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors to advise him about compensation. The union member wanted to ensure his wife and two sons were provided for in the future.

Thompsons was successful in settling the claim out of court for substantial damages.

The member said: “I was worried about my family’s future and decided to claim to make sure that they would be financially OK. I worked for the power station for 40 years and during the early years there was little mention about the dangers of asbestos.

“I don’t know what the future holds but I feel well at the moment so I am making the most of each day."

Peter Kavanagh, acting regional secretary at Unite added: “Mesothelioma and other asbestos related disease sadly affect many of our members and their families. As a union we have campaigned to make sure that those harmed by asbestos receive compensation and a sense of justice. We know just how important it is for this member to secure his family’s future financially and to give him a little peace of mind.

Neil Baines from Thompsons Solicitors specialist asbestos claims team said: “I’m pleased it was possible to finalise this claim so the client can benefit from the compensation during his lifetime.

“Every mesothelioma sufferer would much rather have their health than compensation. However, without adequate compensation, families affected by this dreadful disease often struggle to cope financially.”