A Birmingham man is set to receive compensation after an 18-month legal fight to prove he was left debilitated after being exposed to dangerous asbestos fibres.

Brian Brady, formerly of Workington, but now living in Sutton Coldfield, will receive £7,500 after a ruling by Birmingham Crown Court that he should be compensated for asbestos-relatedcondition pleural thickening.

Mr Brady, 71, from Four Oaks was exposed to asbestos fibres as an instrument mechanic for British Alcan in Workington.

The exposure left him with pleural thickening, a condition that leaves sufferers short of breath and unable to carry out every day tasks like gardening.

Mr Brady started out as an apprentice for the firm working his way up the ranks until he left in 1988 following an early retirement due to ill health.

He discovered he had pleural thickening in January 2005 and approached Thompsons Solicitors, which has offices in Birmingham, for support in gaining his compensation.

Compensation has been paid by employers for the condition for more than 30 years but in this case insurers for Alcan, argued that the condition should not be compensated.

Thompsons Solicitors fight for compensation

Following a three-day trial the courts ordered Alcan to pay out £7,500 to Mr Brady.

He said: “I am delighted that my case has finally been settled after more than 18 months following my diagnosis. I cannot believe the lengths we have had to go through to gain this money. Alcan tried its hardest to avoid paying me compensation but Thompsons Solicitors fought to make sure that I received everything I was entitled to.”

The case comes just a few months after insurance firms successfully halted pay-outs to people who suffer from pleural plaques due to asbestos exposure.

Last year the Court of Appeal ruled that the condition, which rarely causes symptoms should no longer be compensatable.

The ruling is being challenged by Thompsons Solicitors in the House of Lords in June 2007.

Mr Brady’s lawyer, Alison Fahy said: “The Court of Appeal last year decided that claimants could not get compensation for symptom-free pleural plaques. That decision is now the subject of an appeal to the House of Lords.  In this case the defendant tried to include pleural thickening in this category.

“This is a worrying trend for those exposed to asbestos who should be allowed to claim justice for working with a dangerous substance.”