The widow of a Wolverton British Rail engineer has won substantial compensation after her husband died from an asbestos related disease.

Clarice Lambert, 80, was awarded the compensation after Derrick died from mesothelioma in February 2006.

Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer of the lining of the lungs. There is no cure for the disease, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. Many sufferers die just months following diagnosis.

Derrick, who moved from the Wolverton area to Carlyon Bay, Cornwall with Clarice before he was diagnosed with the disease, worked for British Rail at their depot in Wolverton, near Milton Keynes for 48 years.

He started working for the firm at 16 as an apprentice where he learnt the ropes of the engineering trade and soon became a qualified coach trimmer where he worked fitting out old railway carriages.

Asbestos

Asbestos was used on the site for a range of different jobs including fire proofing upholstery and lagging carriages.

Derrick remembered coming home covered in asbestos dust. On a lunchtime the workers would make balls of the left over asbestos and kick it around.

Derrick said he never knew the dangers the dust posed to his health and how it would affect him in the future.

He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in July 2005. At the time the couple had never heard of the disease.

Clarice said: "We were shocked when we found out he had mesothelioma. I had to write it down because we did not know what it was. He had suffered from a cough for a long time but we never put it down to where he had worked."

She added: "It was painful watching Derrick succumb to the disease. He was always a keen gardener and soon he was unable to continue gardening. Eventually we had to bring his bed downstairs so I could care for him.

"He will be pleased to know that we have won compensation in his name. All he wanted was to know I would be provided for after his death."

Mesothelioma

Thompsons Solicitors helped Clarice to win the compensation. Client representative Eamonn McDonough said: "We are pleased to have settled this case on Mrs Lambert’s behalf.

"Mesothelioma is a devastating disease and no amount of compensation can ever replace a loved one. However, this settlement achieves a sense of justice for the neglect caused by Mr Lambert’s employers.

"It is only right that people who develop mesothelioma are fully and fairly compensated."

Derrick was Clarice’s second husband. They knew each other for decades before they married when he was 64 and Clarice was 60. The couple moved to Cornwall soon after they married.

Clarice was born in Abbots Langley and Derrick lived in Potters Perry, Northamptonshire.