The family of a man who died after developing the fatal asbestos disease mesothelioma has received a six-figure compensation sum with backing from Thompsons Solicitors.

James Harper was employed at a factory in Liverpool from 1960 to 1988, where he worked near maintenance staff replacing asbestos insulation on pipework for repairs. He would also spend one day a week cleaning the factory, which caused asbestos dust to settle on his skin and clothes.

In his last two years at the factory his employer replaced the lagging on pipework with asbestos-free insulation. However, prior to this he was never given personal protective equipment (PPE) or told about the dangers of working with asbestos.

When James started suffering from chest pains and breathlessness he was admitted to hospital. He had a biopsy, which confirmed that he had developed the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma.

Sadly, James died in February 2015, aged 86. His family instructed asbestos disease specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a compensation claim.

James’s son, Daniel, said: “It was clear from day one that Thompsons genuinely wanted to help our family have closure after such a difficult time. Our solicitor, Joanne, regularly came to visit mum and kept her updated on the developments of the claim, which was a big help.

“For as long as I can remember my mum and dad loved dancing, but this all came to an abrupt end soon after his symptoms developed, and before we knew it he was struggling to walk. What’s so difficult to accept is that his disease could have been avoided - if his employer had removed the asbestos or provided him with protection, he might still be with us today.”

Joanne Candlish, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Mesothelioma continues to devastate the lives of thousands of individuals and their families every year, all because negligent employers failed to protect workers from the dangers of asbestos which were well known at the time.

“Even though James’s former employer had ceased trading by the time he became ill, we were able to locate the insurers to secure a substantial out of court settlement, ensuring that the family felt they had achieved legal redress.”