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Former construction worker secures compensation following asbestos exposure with backing from Unite Legal Services

Unite Legal Services has secured more than £200,000 in compensation for a former construction worker after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos.

61-year-old Charlie Pearson from Leeds was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease in 2012 after he noticed his health deteriorating and was persuaded by his wife to see a doctor.

He was sent for a biopsy and it was later confirmed that he had contracted the fatal cancer. Charlie said: “I was devastated. Usually mesothelioma takes 30 or 40 years to develop but with me it was much less. I know I am dying and I can’t help but think of the time my wife and I are losing together because of this deadly disease.”

After his diagnosis, Charlie contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for damages. Unite Legal Services successfully secured compensation from Charlie’s former employer’s insurers by proving he was negligently exposed to asbestos whilst working in construction in the 1980s and 90s.

Charlie added: “Unite Legal Services were fantastic. They sat down with me, went through my employment history. I worked out exactly when I had been in contact with asbestos and they pursued a compensation claim on my behalf. It is a comfort to know that I can give my family financial security when I am gone.”

Karen Reay, Unite Regional Secretary in Leeds, said: “Despite a UK ban on the import and use of asbestos coming into force decades ago, the legacy of mesothelioma remains prevalent today.

“Like many other workers Charlie didn’t even realise that he was being exposed to asbestos at the time. Employers have a duty to protect workers from asbestos when any building or demolition work is carried out.”