A Hartlepool pensioner has been awarded an undisclosed six-figure compensation payout from his former employer after being diagnosed with terminal cancer decades after working for them.
Peter Scott, 69, discovered he had mesothelioma – an asbestos-induced terminal form of cancer – after he visited his GP due to feeling unwell, tired and breathless. He was then seen by medics at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital who confirmed the devastating news.
Mr Scott worked as a mechanical fitter for English Electric Company from 1967-68, then for Richardsons Westgarth Co. from 1968-71. Everyday work included spending time in nuclear power stations and gas plants among asbestos-riddled pipework.
During that time his employers failed to inform him about the potential risks of asbestos if inhaled, and no masks or respiratory equipment were provided for him during the work, hartlepoolmail.co.uk reports.
“My family and I are still struggling to come to terms with my diagnosis and what the future holds for us as my retirement, which I was looking forward to spending with my wife, will now be cruelly taken away from us, purely because I went to work every day and did my job,” Mr Scott says.
Isobel Lovett, a specialist asbestos-disease lawyer at firm Irwin Mitchell – who secured the settlement from the former employers – says that what happened to Mr Scott was “completely unacceptable” considering the risk of asbestos has been known since the 1930s. Despite it being common knowledge, around 4,000 people a year die from asbestos-related diseases, according to nhs.uk.