The widow of a former labourer has become the first to receive compensation from a Yorkshire employer’s insurer after her husband died from an asbestos related disease.

The former labourer was exposed to asbestos while working for Ward Brothers in Sherburn, Yorkshire from 1966 to 1968.

He died of mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lung, in April 2005.

Compensation for asbestos victim's family

Asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors helped his widow secure £177,000 in compensation following his death. The family decided to claim compensation after getting help from the Ridings Asbestos Support and Awareness Group (RASAG).

It is believed that this is the first successful mesothelioma compensation claim to be brought against Ward Brothers who were once a large employer in Yorkshire.

Previous attempts to identify Ward Brothers' insurers through the Association of British Insurers tracing scheme had failed but Thompsons Solicitors were successful after making detailed enquiries through local insurance brokers.

Mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and there is no cure. Sufferers often die within months of diagnosis.

The labourer worked with asbestos on a daily basis and was never given any protection against the dangerous dust.

He died aged 61 in April 2005 after spending weeks undergoing tests at hospital. He left behind his wife and an adult son.

His wife said it was important to the family to claim compensation for her husband’s painful death.

He was the main breadwinner of the family and had expected to continue to work until he was 68.

She said: “This terrible disease struck him when he was very fit and active. Mesothelioma took his health away from him in such a short time.

“He would be relieved to know that we have now received compensation and his family will be financially secure.”

Former Ward Brothers' employees may now be able to make claims for asbestos-related diseases

Marion Voss of Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mesothelioma can take many years before the symptoms become apparent. Often by the time the disease is diagnosed many employers have ceased trading and it can be difficult to trace their insurers.

“Fortunately in this case we were able to find Ward Brothers’ insurers after making detailed enquiries through local brokers. I’m pleased our efforts have been able to bring this case to a successful conclusion for this family.

“As a result of finding this insurer we will now be able to help other former Ward Brothers’ employees who have developed asbestos-related diseases to claim compensation.”

Tom Carden from RASAG said: “Ward Brothers were a substantial employer in Yorkshire over the years and it will be a great relief to some families who have been affected by exposure to asbestos that at last an insurer has been found. “