Mesothelioma victim awarded compensation

Ken McDonald of Barrow has won £102,500 in compensation after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, which he developed from being exposed to asbestos in the workplace.

The 67-year-old, who was a former electrician's mate, was diagnosed with the fatal cancer last October.

While working at Vickers shipyard in the 1960s, Mr McDonald was exposed to deadly asbestos fibres. Employed to work on the UK's first nuclear submarine, the HMS Dreadnought, he would carry bags of asbestos for the electricians, which would result in him being covered with the carcinogenic dust.

After contacting the Barrow Asbestos Related Disease Support group, it put him in touch with his former union, the GMB, and their solicitors.

Mr McDonald added: "I am relieved to have received this compensation but I would rather have my health back. At least now I know that my wife and family will be provided for. When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma I was not surprised but it was a tremendous shock."

Tom Brennan, regional secretary of the GMB Northern, said: "I am pleased we have been able to win compensation for Mr McDonald during what is a difficult time for him and his family."

Anyone in Britain or Northern Ireland who has been exposed to asbestos at any time in their lives should undergo a health check, for as Mr McDonald points out: "Usually when you're diagnosed with this illness they give you between two and 12 months."

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