A Dorset family is to receive £81,000 in compensation from the Ministry of Defence following a former dockyard worker’s death from mesothelioma – a cancer caused by his coming into contact with asbestos on board Royal Navy ships.

William Lucas, of Sturminster Newton, died in 2013. He had retired from the Admiralty Research Establishment in 1990.

“The Ministry of Defence were well aware of the dangers of asbestos,” said Brigitte Chandler one of the UK’s leading experts in asbestos-related claims.

“However, they took no precautions to protect their employees on the ships who are now becoming ill with mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.

“Consequently, the Ministry of Defence must pay damages for these mistakes. ”

William Lucas worked as a joiner at the Portsmouth Dockyards on Royal Navy ships and submarine fits between 1949–1960. He also worked as a draughtsman before transferring to the Admiralty Research Establishment.

His various technical roles meant he worked deep inside ships and also on ships which were being refitted and Mr Lucas was required to cut asbestos sheets.

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