Engineer John Haspell was exposed to asbestos at a chemicals plant in Greater Manchester between 1961 and 1984. Despite the devastating effects of asbestos being well-known at the time, neither he, nor his colleagues, were informed of the dangers or provided with any form of protective equipment by the management at the plant.

After being taken ill with breathlessness, John was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in September 2010, a fatal form of cancer known to be linked to asbestos exposure, and passed away just a few weeks later.

Following his death, John’s family instructed Thompsons Solicitors, a leading firm of industrial disease specialists, to investigate a claim for compensation.

When Thompsons took on the case, there were no known witnesses to John’s asbestos exposure. But after searching through Thompsons’ asbestos archive, invaluable witnesses were located and John’s former employer was found to have breached workplace safety standards.

Andrew Giles, John Haspell’s son-in-law, said: “Mesothelioma is a particularly nasty disease and whilst it is too late for John, our family are anxious that all employers make every effort to protect their employees from such a devastating condition. We are grateful to Thompsons for the work done on our behalf to hold John's former employer accountable in this instance. Our family will now try to move on.”

Eamonn McDonough at Thompsons Solicitors said: “This was a particularly testing case as there were no witnesses at all. While some other lawyers would have dropped this case, Thompsons has the specialist expertise and resources to bring such claims for asbestos disease to a successful conclusion.”