A dying grandad who won a court battle to be compensated for asbestos poisoning has died.
David William Mahoney passed away peacefully in St Helena Hospice last month aged 56.
In March 2012, the former roofer received a pay-out, thought to be £200,000, after he was exposed to asbestos while building the former British Home Stores in Colchester in 1976.
Mr Mahoney of Scarfe Way, Colchester, was later diagnosed with lung cancer, mesothelioma.
Initially, his insurance declined to pay, saying he was not entitled to compensation when he was diagnosed in October 2009.
But in 2012, the Supreme Court ruled liability was “triggered” when employees were exposed to asbestos dust, not when the symptoms of mesothelioma occurred.
His widow Angela told the Gazette: “It finally got him. You never prepare for it. We had a good seven years since the diagnosis.”
Angela believes the court case will have raised the issue of asbestos poisoning, noting that construction workers are now “suited up on everything.”
The mother of five children, three girls and two boys and grandmother of 18 grandchildren, pledged the family would continue fundraising for St Helena Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Nurses.
Planned events include the Pier-to-Pier walk, the Midnight Walk and a ‘bubble run.’ Angela said: “I want to give back. I won’t say it’s taken over my life but I want to do as much as possible. I think St Helena Hospice is absolutely amazing.”
David was taken to Colchester Hospital on Boxing Day and transferred to St Helena Hospice in the New Year, spending five days there until he died on January 9.
“We haven’t been able to have the funeral yet because it was an industrial disease, which has been hard.”
Angela, who works in the Greenstead Co-op, said some of the compensation was spent on their love of cruising.
“We did a lot of cruising, all the things we wanted to do. We went to the Caribbean, New York. We did the things you want to do in life but never get to. But we did it. We made some fantastic memories.”
Son Jay, paid tribute to his dad as “a man’s man.”
“He didn’t stand for any crap. He did things his way. He never let us down. He was solid.”
Daughter Laura added: “He was awesome. One of a kind.”
The funeral is at Colchester Crematorium on Monday February 13 at 2pm.