The family of a labourer who died from cancer caused by asbestos have been awarded almost £500,000 in compensation.
Father-of-five Dave Pearson, 66, contracted terminal lung cancer after 40 years working at the Methil Fabrication Plant in Fife.
He died in January last year, weeks after launching his legal case with solicitors Digby Brown.
Dave’s family battled insurers for more than a year until the case ended in an out-of-court settlement of £475,000.
Judge Lady Wolffe criticised the defenders’ tactics as “verging towards an abuse of the legal process” when the settlement was confirmed at the Court of Session.
Dave’s heartbroken widow Sue, 63, urged others not to give up on their quest for justice.
“Thankfully we managed to hold those responsible to account and we now hope to try and restore some kind of balance to our future,” she said.
Dave, from St Andrews, began working in machinery and building maintenance at Methil Fabrication Plant in the 1970s and was exposed to asbestos-filled dust during his 12-hour shifts maintaining the brakes and clutches in cranes and vehicles.
He was not provided with a ventilated working space or safety gear so ended up breathing in deadly particles.
The asbestos fibres attacked his body for decades until a chesty cough and back pain forced him to see a GP..
He was diagnosed with mesothelioma in June 2016 and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Sue, a retired nurse, added: “Dave was a big, gentle, kind, strong-hearted man who worshipped the ground his kids and I walked on.
“I’m grateful to have felt that rare and precious love but it makes his passing all the harder.”
Sue and Dave spent just two nights apart in their 34 years together and Sue has been supported by her five children, eight grandchildren and Dave’s brother Andrew.
The legal bid dragged on because the plant operated under two different companies – Redpath Dorman Long (Contracting) Limited and RGC Offshore Ltd.
Dave and Sue’s daughter Kim McFarlane, 42, is angry at the delay.
The mother-of-two said: “The defenders finally admitted responsibility but didn’t apologise for killing my dad or for the long process they caused.
“I think we are owed an apology but don’t think we’ll ever get one.