A Greater Manchester family has obtained £205,000 in compensation after their dad was exposed to asbestos as a teenager.

The granddad-of-seven died of mesothelioma following exposure to the dangerous dust while working during the 1950s for a company which became part of British Telecom (BT).

He was exposed to asbestos while working at the Bolton Manual Exchange where he was responsible for laying telephone cables in floors and walls. His job included covering the cables with asbestos material, which protected against fire.

He worked for the company for almost 40 years before taking early retirement in the 1980s. In March 2007 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma and he died just four months later.

Mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos 50 years earlier

At the time of his diagnosis he had never heard of mesothelioma and could not believe that it had been caused by working with asbestos 50 years earlier.

The family instructed asbestos litigation specialists Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation and the firm secured an out of court settlement from BT.

His wife said: “We had never heard of mesothelioma before and when we were told we could not believe it. He was exposed to asbestos 50 years before he became ill.

“The compensation will never bring back my husband but knowing that the claim was dealt with efficiently was very reassuring for us during such a difficult time.”

Client representative Steven Dickens added: “We are pleased we have been able to help this family to receive compensation. Mesothelioma is a terrible disease often caused by negligent employers.

“The number of people diagnosed with asbestos related illnesses is expected to rise until 2010 so it is vital that employers who caused this suffering due to negligence, and their insurers, are held to account by paying compensation to the victims and their families.”