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Asbestos-related diseases can strike people down decades after exposure. However, a High Court award of more than £100,000 in damages to a factory worker's widow shows that you should never assume that it is too late to seek justice.
The woman's husband died aged 66 from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs commonly associated with asbestos exposure. For almost two years he had suffered dreadfully from the disease, which had developed owing to exposure to the substance whilst he was working as a self-employed factory storeman in the early 1960s.
The successor to the company for which he worked admitted primary liability for his death, and arguments that he was in some way responsible for his own exposure were rejected.
Although the final amount of his widow's compensation has yet to be calculated, the award includes £85,000 for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity he endured during his final illness, almost £16,000 for past loss of earnings and nearly £13,000 for her bereavement.