A Swindon pensioner has been awarded £170,000 from British Rail after her husband died as a result of mesothelioma.
Mary Neil, 78, was left a widow when her husband Albert passed away at the age of 84 in 2011. Mr Neil had worked for British Rail in some capacity for more than 40 years up until 1986, unaware that he had been inhaling asbestos dust throughout, swindonadvertiser.co.uk reports. Now, Swindon law firm Charles Lucas & Marshall (CLM) has won Ms Neil a six-figure payout.
Brigitte Chandler, an industrial disease lawyer at (CLM), said: “Even when Swindon works closed in 1986, there was still asbestos in the building.
“When Mr Neil went on the locomotives, asbestos would fly into his face. One of his duties was sweeping the floor and asbestos was lying everywhere.”
Mr Neil passed away two years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure – in 2009.
Mesothelioma symptoms can develop some 32 years after exposure to asbestos fibres, thisislancashire.co.uk notes. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is just eight months.
Brigitte Chandler added: “Anyone who has worked in an environment where asbestos is present, no matter how long ago, and who is experiencing breathing problems or discomfort, should seek medical opinion.”