The family of a former plumber has been awarded over £118,000 in compensation after their dad died from asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.

Tony Richardson from Lytham was 67 when he died from the disease following exposure to asbestos while working for family run firm G F Russell.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease can lie dormant for up to 40 years and often sufferers die within months of diagnosis.

Tony, who also worked as a live-in maintenance man at the Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Golf Course before he retired in 2002, was diagnosed with mesothelioma just a few weeks before he died in February 2005.

Exposed to asbestos at work

He told his family that he remembered being exposed to asbestos while ripping out old pipes and boilers which were lagged with asbestos insulation.

Following his death the family instructed asbestos claims specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to represent them in a claim for compensation against their dad’s former employer G F Russell.

During a High Court hearing G F Russell denied liability but the judge ruled, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Richardson had “frequently encountered asbestos-based materials" in airing cupboards and bath panels whilst working for the firm.

His son, Paul, said the family are relieved the case has now come to an end.

He said: “My dad was very ill and died so quickly following diagnosis of mesothelioma that he did not start the claim himself. But after he died we wanted the employer who exposed him to asbestos to be held accountable for his death. We felt strongly that his employer should have taken more care to protect his health.”

Employers failed to protect workers from asbestos dust

Gill Owen, client representative at Thompsons Solicitors, who acted for the family, said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease for all involved. It is important asbestos victims and their family members obtain proper compensation from the insurers of the companies who caused the disease.

“In the past many employers failed to take adequate safeguards to protect their workers from inhaling asbestos dust and now people like Tony Richardson are paying with their lives.

“We understand compensation can never replace a loved one but hope that the successful outcome of this case goes some way to giving the family a sense of justice.”