A landlord who was exposed to asbestos while his pub was being renovated has received a substantial sum in compensation.

Graham Morris, 63, from Audenshaw in Manchester was diagnosed with mesothelioma in March 2008 after he was exposed to asbestos during the 1980s while working at the Ashton Hotel in Ashton Under Lyne for Whitbread Breweries.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung. It is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take up to 40 years or more for symptoms to develop.

There is no cure for the disease which affects 2,000 people a year. Many sufferers have just months to live following diagnosis.

Asbestos contained in suspended roof

Graham instructed asbestos claims specialists Thompsons Solicitors to pursue his case for compensation after getting in touch with the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group (GMAVSG).

He was exposed to asbestos contained in a suspended roof at the hotel which was knocked down during renovations in 1985.

He was present when the ceiling was first pulled down and he and his family were later evacuated when it was realised it contained asbestos.

He was also exposed to asbestos in the pub’s boiler room.

Graham said his diagnosis was a huge shock to all the family.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I was diagnosed with mesothelioma and they told me it was as a result of exposure to asbestos. I have never worked with asbestos but I knew I had been exposed to it while working at the Ashton Hotel.

“It is hard to come to terms with such an ordinary event so many years ago being responsible for my ill health now.

“I wanted to claim compensation to make sure my family are provided for in the future. I also wanted Whitbread to take responsibility for what has happened to me. My family should never have been put at risk in the way we were.”

Even low levels of asbestos exposure can prove fatal

Tony Whitston from GMAVSG said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease which can lie dormant for decades. Mr Morris was exposed to asbestos over a short period of time. The sheer ferocity of the disease means even low levels of exposure can prove fatal.”

Steven Dickens from Thompsons Solicitors said: “It was important that we concluded his case quickly to bring Mr Morris some peace of mind and the reassurance that his family will be financially provided for.