Bailiffs are set to recover compensation for Teesside asbestos widow Betty Cater after she has waited almost two months for a payout which was due before Christmas.

Thompsons Solicitors, which has offices in Middlesbrough, has instructed the High Court Sheriffs, Elliott Davies, to recover Mrs Cater’s compensation after insurer Royal Sun Alliance failed to pay £65,000 on time.

The Royal Courts of Justice awarded Mrs Cater, 63, from Vale Drive, Thornaby, more than £140,000 in compensation in November. The balance was due to be paid by insurers Prudential and Royal Sun Alliance on December 22.

Mesothelioma Claim

She was awarded the money after her husband Ronald, 57, died of mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos while he worked in the docks in Wales.

He died in June 2004 while fighting to claim the money from his former employers Kinnis & Brown (Chemical Services) Ltd and Loriston Services Ltd.

Mrs Cater was originally awarded just £20,000 in May when the House of Lords changed the rules for pay-outs to mesothelioma victims and their families when one of the employers could not be found.

But in November she became one of the first to be awarded full compensation after appealing under the new Compensation Act.

So far Mrs Cater has received her entitled compensation of more than £55,000 from Prudential but is still waiting almost two months later to be paid by Royal Sun Alliance.

She said: "I am very angry I have still not received this money. I should have received my full compensation in December but instead I am still waiting and as a result I have been forced to continue working far longer than I had intended to."

Andrew Venn, from Thompsons Solicitors National Asbestos Team, said: "We are disappointed we have been forced to ask the High Court Sheriffs to intervene in this case. Mrs Cater has had to fight every step of the way to receive compensation for her husband’s early death".

"We will continue to work on her behalf to ensure she receives every penny she is entitled to."