A fitter who was diagnosed with an asbestos related disease has received compensation with help from Thompsons Solicitors after his first lawyers turned him away.

John Leatherland, 64, from Newark in Nottinghamshire was diagnosed with asbestosis in September 2007 following a chest infection.

The widower, who has two adult children, was exposed to asbestos whilst working as a fitter in power stations and factories between 1968 and 1972.

He was not warned of the dangers of asbestos or given any protection.

He approached a firm of solicitors who had his case for two and a half years before telling him he did not have a claim.

He then turned to national asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors for advice. Thompsons offered a free second opinion and made a successful claim against his employers which settled out of court for £40,000.

Mr Leatherland, who worked also as a lecturer before he retired, now finds it difficult to walk further than 20 yards and said the condition has left him breathless and unable to do the gardening and other jobs around the house.

Mr Leatherland said: “When I was told I had asbestosis I knew straight away that it was caused by my work. The first firm of solicitors I went to did very little and did not give me any hope. I should have gone to a specialist firm like Thompsons in the first place. They knew what they were doing from the start and dealt with my case really efficiently and professionally. I’m delighted.”

Nicola Harrison from Thompsons Solicitors added:” There are a lot of claims companies and law firms who offer their services to people with asbestos disease but Mr Leatherland’s experience shows the importance of using specialist solicitors who have a long track record of expertise and experience in asbestos claims.”