A Major in Derbyshire’s Army Cadet Force has received £220,000 compensation after he was diagnosed with asbestos cancer.

Bernard Dean, 61, of Stevens Road, Sandiacre was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs, in February 2009 after complaining of breathlessness.

The self employed joiner was told he had just 18 months to live. Since becoming ill, he can no longer work, which he had hoped to continue until he was 65.

There is no cure for mesothelioma which is caused by exposure to asbestos. The cancer can take decades to develop and many sufferers die within months of diagnosis.

Exposed to asbestos while working for Erewash Borough Council

Mr Dean was exposed to asbestos between 1977 and 1981 while working for Erewash Borough Council.

He worked as a joiner, based at the Council’s town hall in Ilkeston, and was responsible for repair and refurbishment work.

He remembers being exposed to asbestos whilst repairing the roof of the Pavilion at West Park, Long Eaton.

Following his diagnosis he contacted the Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team for assistance and instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.

Thompsons Solicitors recovered compensation

Thompsons quickly secured an interim payment from the council and then successfully settled the claim out of court.

Bernard is married with two children and two grandchildren and is a Major with Derbyshire Army Cadet Force.

He said: “Being diagnosed with mesothelioma was a huge shock. I knew I had worked with asbestos in my career as a joiner but we were never warned about the dangers.

“I had hoped to continue working until I was 65 but I’m now too ill. I do not know what the future will hold. I’ve had chemotherapy and been involved in a new drug trial but I have just been told this hasn’t worked.

“The fact my compensation claim has been settled gives me great peace of mind to know that my wife and family will be provided for.”

No amount of money can compensate for the effects of such a devastating work related disease

Joanne Carlin from Derbyshire Asbestos Support Team said: “No amount of money can ever compensate for the effects of such a devastating work related disease as mesothelioma. It is important that employers are made to face up to the consequences of negligently exposing workers to asbestos and that the increasing number of people who suffer, like Mr Dean, receive the best possible support and advice.

David Fisher from Thompsons Solicitors added: “It was particularly important for Mr Dean to see his claim concluded successfully within his lifetime so he could make provisions for his wife and family. I am pleased we have been able to achieve this for him.

Sadly he is one of an growing number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos while employed in the public sector.”