The family of a proud plumber has received substantial damages after he died from mesothelioma.

The father of one from Barrow in Furness died just 17 days after being admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties. Following his death a post mortem revealed he suffered from mesothelioma, the cancer of the lining of the lungs.

He had hidden his poor health from his family and did not seek medical help from his GP.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbetsos

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no cure for the disease which affects up to 2,000 people a year.

The 75-year-old was exposed to asbestos while working for T Ward & Son in Barrow between 1965 and 1997.

He worked as a plumber and heating engineer and his job involved stripping out boilers and pipes in a number of schools in the area.

He also worked replacing asbestos flue pipes. He was not provided with any respiratory protection and was not warned of the dangers.

Diagnosed with Pleural Plaques

He was diagnosed with pleural plaques, a type of scarring of the lungs, in 2003 and contacted asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation. His pleural plaques claim was dismissed following the House of Lords decision in October 2007 to end the right to compensation.

Following his death his son instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for mesothelioma.

Thompsons was successful in settling the claim 14 months after his death.

His son said: “It was a shock to lose dad as quickly as we did. We were told by the coroner that he had died of mesothelioma and it was caused as a result of his exposure to asbestos.

“We think dad knew it was serious long before we did and long before he started to show us how much it was affecting him. We know now that had he been diagnosed with mesothelioma before his death it was unlikely to change the final outcome.”

Mesothelioma can be extremely aggressive

Helen Jones from Thompsons said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease which can be extremely aggressive. Sadly this client never sought medical help and when his condition became so severe his demise was very quick.

“Because he had already commenced the process of claiming compensation for pleural plaques we were able to bring the mesothelioma claim for his family to a successful outcome quickly.”