The widow of a Ministry of Defence shipyard worker has received £140,000 in compensation after her husband died of an asbestos related lung cancer.

The 79-year-old from Plymouth, who does not wish to be named, instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation after her husband died of mesothelioma in March 2006.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and there is no cure for the devastating disease.

Her husband died aged 76 after a 22-month fight against the disease.

He was exposed to asbestos while working at HM Naval Base in Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth.

He was employed as an apprentice engine fitter and then later as a fitter from 1947 to 1957. He worked in Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels’ engine rooms where asbestos insulation was present. At times his job included handling asbestos lagging.

Never warned about the dangers of asbestos and not given any protection

His wife said: “When he worked in the shipyards he had no idea that he was endangering his health just by breathing the air around him. He was never warned about the dangers of asbestos and was not given any protection.

“When he was diagnosed with mesothelioma he felt strongly about claiming compensation to make sure I was looked after. It was a terrible painful illness. After his death I followed his wishes by instructing Thompsons Solicitors to pursue the claim. It has now been successful which is what he would have wanted.”

Eamonn McDonough from Thompsons Solicitors added: “The legacy of asbestos continues to haunt those who worked in conditions which were polluted with the dangerous dust. It is only right that where people have suffered the harmful effects, many having paid with their lives, that they and their family members are compensated to the full extent of the law.”