The widow of a former British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) employee has received an undisclosed six figure sum in compensation after her husband died from an asbestos related disease.

Ronald Rumney, 71, from Egremont, developed the fatal asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, decades after he was exposed to the dust working as an electrician for BNFL at Sellafield near Whitehaven.

Ronald worked for BNFL for 40 years after training to be an electrician with the company between 1952 and 1957.

He returned to work at the Sellafield site in 1960 until he retired in 1994.

Ronald, who left behind four children, four grandchildren and a great granddaughter was diagnosed with mesothelioma in April 2007. He died just three weeks later.

No cure for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which can lie dormant for 40 years.

Ronald felt strongly about claiming compensation for his condition. His wife Norma instructed asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors to take up the claim following his death.

Norma, who also worked at Sellafield, as a researcher, and was married to Ronald for 50 years, said he would be satisfied the case has now been settled.

She said: “When Ronald was told he had mesothelioma and had only weeks to live we were devastated. He knew he had been exposed to asbestos at Sellafield and was determined that justice be done.

“Unfortunately his tumour was so aggressive he died shortly afterwards and I vowed to continue the fight.

“Before Ronald was diagnosed he was a fit and healthy man and enjoyed life to the full. We thought he had flu; mesothelioma was the last thing we were expecting.

“He lived only three weeks after diagnosis. I am still trying to come to terms with it.

“Ronald would have been very satisfied with the result. He wanted to make sure BNFL took responsibility for his condition. He felt very strongly about that.

“I’d like to thank all of his colleagues who came forward as witnesses to help us with the case. They helped prove how Ronald was exposed to asbestos at Sellafield.”

Joanne Candlish, client representative at Thompsons Solicitors, added: “It was very important for Mrs Rumney to bring this case to a successful conclusion.

“I am glad that, with our assistance and the help of her husband’s former workmates, Mrs Rumney has been able to fulfil her husband’s wish to bring a claim against the employer he believed had caused his death.”

This news story was also published by North West Evening Mail and News & Star.