A joiner who was exposed to asbestos while working in the building trade has received £160,000 compensation after being diagnosed with cancer.

The 71-year-old from Widnes in Cheshire was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October 2008 and has been told he has less than six months to live.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos.

There is no cure for the disease which can take up to 40 years or more to develop.

Cut up asbestos boards and removed asbestos lagged metal

He was exposed to asbestos while working for George Wimpey now known as Carillion Construction (Contracts) Ltd between 1965 and 1967 where he was employed on the construction of Shell’s power station at Carrington. He also worked for demolition company Karalius Bros Limited between 1969 and 1992.

During both jobs he cut up asbestos boards and removed old asbestos lagged scrap metal from industrial premises.

He said: “When the doctor told me I had cancer my first reaction was ‘but I don’t smoke’. When he said it was due to asbestos I thought ‘it can’t be’. I didn’t realise I had worked with asbestos for all those years. It was only when I went through my employment history in detail with Thompsons Solicitors that I remembered all the times I was. I had no idea the danger I was being put in.”

Following his diagnosis he contacted Cheshire Asbestos Victim Support Group (CAVSG) for assistance with claiming welfare benefits. He then contacted mesothelioma claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors for advice.

Thompsons Solicitors recovered compensation only months after taking the claim on

Thompsons was able to achieve an out of court settlement only months after taking on the claim.

The dad of four, granddad of eight and great granddad to three said: “I am grateful for all that Thompsons has done. I would rather have my health back. I have three great grandchildren and know I will never see them grow up. It’s heartbreaking.”

Brian Dellaway from CAVSG said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease caused by exposure to asbestos. We are pleased we have been able to offer support during this difficult time.”

Joanne Candlish from Thompsons Solicitors added: “It was very important to this client to see his case settled during his lifetime. I am pleased that we were able to achieve that for him despite the difficulty we faced as a result of one of his former employers going into administration. Our efforts to trace the employer’s insurers were successful which enabled us to press on with the case and bring it to a conclusion quickly”.