THE widow of a former ICI worker who died from asbestos-related cancer said she has won justice for her husband after receiving an out-of-court settlement from his former employers.

Frederick Simpson, from Darlington, died in May 2009, aged 85 after a two-year battle with lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos during his 15 year career as a fitter at ICI’s Billingham oil plant.

His widow, Alma, 79, launched a legal bid against ICI on the grounds that more should have been done to prevent Mr Simpson inhaling asbestos fibres during his time at the plant, between 1966 and 1981.

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Mrs Simpson has now secured a five-figure sum from ICI in an out-of-court settlement after working with specialist lawyers from Irwin Mitchell, based in Newcastle.

The grandmother-of-ten said she was devastated to learn that the risks of asbestos were known to the people in charge of the oil plant at the time her husband worked there.

She said: “Losing my Frederick to asbestos-related lung cancer was utterly devastating.

“My family and I just wanted find out the answers to questions that would bring justice for Frederick.

“The fact that the terrible illness was down to asbestos exposure and that the risks were actually known by employers is a very bitter pill to swallow indeed, as all Frederick wanted to do was work hard to support his family.

“Nothing will ever bring our Frederick back to us but now we have gained the answers we need and the justice my husband deserved.”

Roger Maddock, a lawyer specialising in asbestos-related illnesses, said that although the link between asbestos and diseases such asbestosis and mesothelioma is well-known, the link between asbestos and lung cancer is not so well recognised.

Mr Maddocks said: “There are many people who have had the misfortune to develop lung cancer as well as being exposed to asbestos dust who may not link the two together.

“Victims could be missing out on funds that they are entitled to which would help provide treatment in their final months and potentially provide their families with more security.”