A grandfather, who has been told his health can only deteriorate due to asbestos exposure, has been compensated by his former employers.

Thomas McMullan, 75, from Lea in Preston will receive a substantial five figure sum in provisional damages after he developed asbestosis caused by exposure to asbestos dust while working as a fitter’s mate for Courtalds at Red Scar Words in Preston.

During the 1960s to 1980s he worked in the boiler-house and turbine room alongside laggers who removed and replaced asbestos insulation.

Mr McMullan, who has three children and three grandchildren, was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2005 after he complained of shortness of breath to his doctor.

Asbestosis is a disabling condition

He said the condition has left him unable to carry out everyday tasks like gardening and DIY and he can no longer enjoy long walks with his wife.

He said: “I was angry when I discovered I had asbestosis. The exposure happened so long ago that I did not think it would affect my health but when I found out I had this lung problem it came as a big shock. All I know is that in this day and age it would not be allowed to happen.”

Mr McMullan’s medical consultant said his condition was likely to slowly deteriorate. The damages secured for Mr McMullan allow him to claim for further compensation if his condition worsens in the future or he develops another asbestos related condition.

John Flanagan from Merseyside Asbestos Victims Support Group, who assisted Mr McMullan added: "I am delighted the case has settled in favour of Mr McMullan. It demonstrates how important it is for patients to seek help from experienced and reputable solicitors when claiming compensation."

Client representative Jennifer McDermott from Thompsons Solicitors, who dealt with the claim on behalf of Mr McMullan said: “We are pleased we have been able to reach a successful conclusion for Mr McMullan. Asbestosis is a disabling condition, which has a detrimental effect on quality of life.

“Mr McMullan sensibly opted for a provisional damages settlement which will allow him to claim further compensation if his health deteriorates or he develops any potentially fatal asbestos related disease.”

This news story was also published by The Citizen