Thompsons Solicitors’ dedicated team of lawyers in Yorkshire and Humberside who fight for compensation on behalf of people suffering from asbestos related disease have recovered £600,000 in damages for five UNISON members and their families in the last 12 months.

The legal experts are reminding UNISON 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 covers Yorkshire and Humberside, including Leeds, Sheffield, Scunthorpe and Hull.

In Yorkshire and Humberside generations of workers were exposed to asbestos in industries including oil refineries, chemical plants and shipyards. Many others were exposed to asbestos during employment in factories, building sites and even in hospitals, schools and canteens.

Mesothelioma, Asbestosis and Pleural Thickening

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 the family of a mechanic diagnosed with mesothelioma who was awarded £150,000

Another member was a former Leeds City Council employee’s family who received a substantial sum in compensation after he died from mesothelioma.

The 54-year-old from West Yorkshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, in August 2008 after suffering from a painful cough.

He was exposed to asbestos in the 1970s, while working as a manager in the council’s sports division. He was responsible for building maintenance which included checking and maintaining asbestos insulation on pipe work.

Before his death he contacted his union Unison which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation. Following his death Thompsons pursued the claim on behalf of his family.

Negligently exposed to asbestos at work

Head of Thompsons Solicitors' regional asbestos litigation team, Helen Tomlin 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 Yorkshire and Humberside 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.”