The widow of a Somerset man who died, aged only 68, from the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma, after being exposed to the deadly dust when he worked for the Central Electrical Generating Board at the former Portishead power stations, has received substantial six figure compensation.

The client continued her husband’s claim against his former employer after his death in August 2008. She was backed by her husband’s trade union Unite.

He worked as a mechanical fitter and later a foreman at Portishead A and B power stations from 1965 to 1981. The steam turbines, boilers and pipework in the stations were lagged with asbestos. He recalled himself and other men removing asbestos for the plant and equipment to be serviced and would see it fall through the open grid platforms. He said there were clouds of dust everywhere.

His employer took no action to protect him from exposure to asbestos and allowed them to take their dust covered overalls home.

Diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma

He was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in November 2007 and contacted asbestos claim specialists Thompsons Solicitors through his union for advice about obtaining compensation.

Proceedings were started in the Royal Courts of Justice and the claim settled shortly before the trial.

His widow said: “I looked after him until he had to go into a hospice and I watched him suffering badly. I’m very angry with his employer for not warning him and his workmates of the dangers of asbestos and that is why I was determined to carry on his compensation claim after he died.”

Laurence Faircloth, Unite regional secretary, commented: “Hundreds of our members still die every year from asbestos related diseases having been exposed to asbestos decades ago by former employers.”

Eamonn McDonough of Thompsons said: “The dangers of asbestos were well known to employers by the time my client’s husband was working for the Central Electricity Generating Board. Despite this he was never warned by them that asbestos was dangerous or provided with any protection. It is tragic that he has had to pay the ultimate price with his own life for this negligence.”