A retired shipyard worker who was exposed to asbestos when he was a 15-year-old office boy has received compensation from his former employers after developing fatal asbestos cancer.

Septimus Boulter, 78, from Jarrow, South Tyneside, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs in December 2011.

The married father of four had complained to his GP about breathlessness before he was diagnosed with the fatal disease.

Instructed asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors

Following his diagnosis he instructed asbestos claims experts Thompsons Solicitors for advice about compensation against his former employers.

He was exposed to asbestos during a year long stint as an office boy at Mercantile Dry Dock Company Ltd in Jarrow in1949 and again in the 1950’s working for Hawthorn Leslie Shipbuilders and Vinters Defence Systems Ltd, known as Palmers Hebburn at the time, both based in Hebburn.

He was never warned of the dangers of asbestos by his employers or provided with the any protection.

He decided to claim compensation to ensure his family are provided for in the future.

Thompsons secured substantial damages in an out of court settlement from his former employers.

Exposed to asbestos in teens and early twenties

Mr Boulter said: “It is difficult to believe that I am suffering from a condition caused by exposure to asbestos when I was in my teens and early twenties. When I first began to feel breathless I put it down to getting older. I never dreamed I would be suffering from something like this.

“My family have been a tremendous support over the last few months and it was important for me to know that my wife will be looked after financially in the future. This compensation brings some peace of mind in that respect.”

Tony Hood at Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Boulter was exposed to asbestos when he was just fifteen. At the time he had no idea he was working in an area where asbestos was being used and was never warned by his employer that his health could be at risk.

“It was important for him to know that the compensation claim would be concluded in his lifetime. Not only has this ensured that his family will be financially secure, it also provides much needed practical support at a very difficult time.”