A proud businessman has told of his successful battle for compensation after he was diagnosed with fatal lung cancer, mesothelioma.

David Smith, 56, from Shaw near Oldham was awarded damages of £400,000 due to developing the illness after he was exposed to asbestos while working as an apprentice electrical engineer for Alstom Energy Limited from 1968 to 1980.

David, who has a wife, three sons and two grandchildren, was forced to give up his business maintaining street lights for local councils as a result of his condition.

Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and there is no cure for the disease. Many sufferers have just months to live following diagnosis.

Asbestos claims experts, Thompsons Solicitors

David contacted asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors when he was diagnosed with the disease in November 2007.

He has undergone chemotherapy and is now hoping to take part in trials for a new cancer drug which he hopes may help extend his life.

David was exposed to asbestos when he was just 15 working at Alstom’s Trafford Park premises. He worked with cable ducting which was insulated with asbestos.

He set up his own business 25 years ago maintaining street lights and employed two workers. Sadly, the business which he had hoped his sons would take over in later years, had to fold when he became ill.

No protection from asbestos dust

He said it was important to him to claim compensation because he was concerned about his family’s future.

He said: “After 25 years running my own business I was devastated that I had to close it down. At 56-years-old my life is finished. The compensation will not make me well again. I would rather have my health and be working. This money represents what I would have earned had I not developed mesothelioma.”

He added: “I had no idea back then that what we were working with could be so dangerous. We just got on with the job as we were told. We had no protection from the dust whatsoever.”

Joanne Candlish from Thompsons Solicitors said: “I am pleased we have been able to bring this claim to a successful conclusion quickly for Mr Smith. It was hugely important for him to protect his family’s financial welfare which he had worked so hard all his life to maintain. His claim included the losses caused as a result of being forced to close down his business. It was his wish that the compensation was secured in his lifetime.”

This news story was also published by Rochdale Online, Rochdale Observer, Manchester Evening News and Oldham Advertiser.