An electrician diagnosed with fatal cancer, mesothelioma, may never receive compensation despite a new government scheme for victims who cannot trace their former employer’s insurers.

Philip Reade, 65, from Oldham needs to identify his former employer’s insurers in his bid for justice after developing the fatal cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

Last month the government announced a new support scheme which will pay out compensation to more than 300 mesothelioma sufferers a year who currently lose out on compensation because they are unable to trace a liable employer or employers’ liability insurer.

Victims diagnosed with mesothelioma from 25 July,2012 will benefit from the scheme, funded by insurers, which is set to pay out £300m to 3,000 victims in the first 10 years.

But Mr Reade, who was diagnosed with the cancer in January 2011, will be barred from the scheme and will only be compensated if he can trace his employers’ liability insurer.

Marchbank & Winterbottom, Shaw Street, Royton, and Dan Howarth & Son Limited, St John’s Street, Rochdale

Mr Reade worked as an apprentice and an electrician for Marchbank & Winterbottom, based in Shaw Street, Royton, and for Dan Howarth & Son Limited, based on St John’s Street, Rochdale. Both companies ceased trading a number of years ago.

During his time with both companies he worked alongside men who were removing asbestos in Lancashire Cotton Company’s mills.

Following his diagnosis Mr Reade contacted asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice. Thompsons, which has extensive experience in dealing with asbestos compensation claims, has already exhausted extensive research to trace his former employer’s insurers and is now appealing for help from anyone who may have any information.

Anyone who has any information about Marchbank & Winterbottom’s employers liability insurers for any time, particularly the period covering 1962 to 1968, should come forward and speak to Thompsons.

They are also interested in talking to anyone who has information on the employers liability insurers for Dan Howarth & Son Limited for the period covering 1968 to 1970.

Contact Thompsons with any information about Marchbank & Winterbottom or Dan Howarth

Mr Reade said: “It was a shock when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. I knew it was an asbestos related condition and remembered that I had worked alongside asbestos laggers in the early part of my career.

“I have now had to give up work as a result of my condition which is causing financial hardship. I was hoping to use the compensation to provide for my wife, Barbara but this will not be possible unless we can find the employers liability insurers for either Marchbank & Winterbottom or Dan Howarth.

“The government scheme will help some mesothelioma sufferers but I am devastated that it will not benefit my family just because I was diagnosed before the scheme was announced. It feels like the government has forgotten about people like me who are suffering the illness here and now.”

Gill Owen of Thompsons Solicitors said: “This government scheme is both long overdue and a missed opportunity. The commitment of £300m over the next 10 years will make a difference to some mesothelioma victims who cannot trace their employers’ liability insurers but it does not go anywhere near far enough. The scheme fails to support Mr Reade and many other mesothelioma sufferers who were diagnosed before 25 July 2012. It also excludes many others with asbestos illnesses such as pleural thickening, lung cancer and asbestosis as well as providing no protection at all to victims of other types of industrial injury and disease.

Anyone who may have any information which would help to identify employers liability insurers for Marchbank & Winterbottom or Dan Howarth should contact Gill Owen at Thompsons Solicitors on 08000 224 224 or by email