Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 14:33 UK

Payout for asbestos cancer case

A man from North Somerset with terminal asbestos-related cancer has received £175,000 in compensation.

Alan Ward, 61, was exposed to asbestos while working in hospitals in Wakefield between 1964 and 1972 and has cancer of the lung lining.

Mr Ward was suing Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority and they settled before the case got to court.

The plumber, from Weston-super-Mare, said he had never been warned of the danger asbestos posed to his health.

He said: "We just smashed off the asbestos and carried on working."

Increasing pain

Speaking after the payout was confirmed, he said: "I am pleased to have received compensation, as it will help cover the cost of living when my health fails further.

"The disease is progressing slowly, but I'm in a lot of pain and all they can do now is just keep increasing the painkillers."

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union Unison, said: "Alan is one of a growing number of workers whose health has been fatally damaged just through going to work.

"Employers have to face up to their responsibilities to make sure they don't put their workers at risk of injury or death."

A spokesperson for NHS Yorkshire and the Humber said: "Mr Ward's claim, which dates back to 1964, relates to a predecessor NHS organisation.

"When Mr Ward's claim was presented, we investigated his allegations and on the advice of our solicitors admitted liability."

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