A former railway worker from Daventry who developed mesothelioma after workplace asbestos exposure has secured compensation.

The 88-year-old man worked as a fireman and driver on the railways between 1948 and 1961, where he would stoke engine fire boxes insulated with asbestos. His work would damage asbestos materials, creating asbestos dust that he would breathe in. He was unaware that the cloth he used to protect himself from the heat of the fire also contained asbestos.

When he started suffering from breathlessness in April 2017 he visited his doctor who referred him for lung tests. He was diagnosed with mesothelioma – an asbestos-related cancer.

“My illness has really limited what I can do,” he said. “Even into my 80s, I’ve tried to keep active, doing things for myself. But, within months of my diagnosis, I have found that basic things like walking, and particularly walking upstairs, have suddenly become extremely difficult.”

He turned to Thompsons Solicitors’ asbestos claims experts to make a compensation claim.

“The support I’ve received has been first rate,” he said. “My nurse put me in touch with a local asbestos support group, and within days I was visited by my solicitor at Thompsons to discuss the details of starting a claim. They investigated my work history, and a case was put together rapidly, meaning I quickly understood how I came to be exposed to asbestos and secured a settlement that means my family is financially stable moving forward.

“This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the hard work of Thompsons.”

Steve Fitzwalter, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The fact that the cloth that was meant to protect our client was causing further damage to his lungs, because of the asbestos present in it, highlights just how prevalent the substance was in his line of work.

“We are pleased our client has at least been able to ascertain how and why he developed his condition, but his case only serves to highlight the impact historical asbestos exposure continues to have on families across the UK.”