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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 15:21 GMT
Damages won after asbestos death
Barry Welch as a child with his stepfather Roger Bugby
Barry Welch sat on his stepfather's lap when he came home from work
The widow of a man who died from an asbestos-related cancer has won compensation from the former employer of her late husband's stepfather.

Barry Welch, from Leicester, was thought to have contracted mesothelioma after childhood exposure to asbestos.

It was linked to dust and fibres brought home on overalls by his stepfather, Roger Bugby, from his workplace in Kent.

The level of damages will be decided at a court hearing in early 2007.

Mr Welch, who had three daughters, began legal action after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in May 2004.

Conceded negligence

He died 11 months later aged 32, but his widow Claire, from Braunstone in Leicester, continued the fight for compensation.

It ended last month when insurance firm Zurich, on behalf of Mr Bugby's former employer Palmers Limited, conceded negligence.

Mr Bugby worked as a scaffolder at Kingsnorth Power Station from 1977 to 1979.

The young Mr Welch would sit on his stepfather's lap when he returned home, but that led to him inhaling asbestos.

No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of Barry
Claire Welch

Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which represented Mr and Mrs Welch, said: "This exposure as a child led to Barry contracting mesothelioma in later life."

Mrs Welch said: "No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of Barry.

"However, he would have been pleased that we successfully fought for justice on his behalf."

A coroner ruled a year ago that Mr Welch's death had been accidental.

During the inquest, Dr Clive Muatero, consultant oncologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, said it "would be reasonable" to assume that the mesothelioma was caused by the childhood asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs.

Asbestos death ruled accidental
14 Dec 05 |  Leicestershire
Family blames asbestos for cancer
29 Apr 05 |  Leicestershire

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