The family of a mechanical fitter who died from mesothelioma has received a six figure compensation payment.
The former Unite member from Lincoln was exposed to asbestos while working at a Power Station in the early 1960s. His work mainly involved fixing transformer towers.
The member was asked to carry out most of his duties near to where workmen were placing asbestos lagging around steam pipes. He was never told to wear a mask while the lagging was carried out only feet away.
When the retired member began to feel unwell in January 2014, he went to see his doctor. Later that month, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by asbestos. More than 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK every year.
His membership had lapsed but Unite agreed to support him because he had been a member when the asbestos exposure occurred. Unite Legal Services investigated his work history and pursued the claim against his former employer.
Sadly, the member died in June 2014 while the claim proceedings were taking place. Unite Legal Services continued to pursue the case on behalf of his family.
The member’s daughter said: “We were so shocked when we found out dad had mesothelioma – we didn’t really know what it was and we were all scared. Thankfully we were able to speak to experts at Unite Legal Services to give us an explanation of the disease. I’m sure my dad would be pleased to know that mum has some financial stability because of the compensation we received.
“We’re very grateful to Unite Legal Services for its support, even though dad’s membership of the union had lapsed. Unite Legal Services helped us when no one else would.”
Annmarie Kilcline, East Midlands regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “Mesothelioma is a deadly disease and those who contract it should be given as much support as possible at what is an extremely stressful and difficult time for them and their family. Unite Legal Services is there to represent its members when they need it most, and though our member had sadly died before the claim had settled we continued to fight for justice for his family.
“Mesothelioma is the biggest workplace killer in the UK. It’s important that our members and former members know where to turn when they contract the illness. Unite Legal Services has the specialist asbestos litigation expertise to ensure that the maximum compensation is secured for those suffering from the condition.”