A bookstore owner has received a substantial sum in compensation after he was diagnosed with fatal lung cancer mesothelioma.

Derrick Broadhurst, 81, from Irlam in Manchester was diagnosed with the asbestos related disease in February 2008.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which affects more than 2,000 people every year.

Exposed to asbestos by Lancashire Steel Corporation

Derrick was exposed to asbestos while working for Lancashire Steel Corporation, now known as Corus, in Cadishead from 1954 until 1974.

He worked in a wide range of jobs including collecting overalls which were coated in asbestos dust.

He was made redundant from the company in 1974 and went on to open a book shop, which he still runs.

Free advice and support for families affected by asbestos related disease

Derrick decided to contact Thompsons Solicitors, to take up his case for compensation after getting in touch with the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group (GMAVSG). The group is a registered charity and provides free advice and support to people and their families who have been affected by asbestos related disease.

He wanted Lancashire Steel to accept responsibility for his condition. He also wanted to make sure his wife Pauline was provided for in the future.

He said: “I was surprised when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma. It is difficult to believe that working with asbestos all those years ago has affected my health so dramatically.

“When I came into contact with asbestos I had no idea that it was so dangerous to my health. When I was told I could claim compensation I felt it was only right that Lancashire Steel should be brought to account.”

Illness caused by negligence of former employers

Tony Whitston from GMAVSG said: “Sadly this case is not unique. As an asbestos support group we are seeing a steady increase in the number of enquiries about asbestos related disease, with people having been diagnosed some thirty to forty years after their initial exposure. We move as quickly as possible to ensure that all sufferers have access to the best advice and information, completely free of charge.”

Steven Dickens from Thompsons Solicitors said: “We are pleased to have brought this case to a successful conclusion on behalf of Mr Broadhurst and his family during his lifetime. His illness was caused by the negligence of his former employer. His suffering, and that of countless others, could have been prevented if employers had only taken more care in the past to protect workers from exposure to asbestos.”

This news story was also published by Manchester Evening News.