A HISTORY of working with asbestos has been blamed for the death of a 71-year-old Dudley man.

Brian Stearn, of Moden Hill, passed away at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, on June 11 after being admitted following a cardiac arrest.

Black Country Coroner's Court in Oldbury was told that Mr Stearn had been diagnosed with mesothelioma in February this year and had been awarded industrial injuries compensation for the disease caused by exposure to asbestos.

Mr Stearn died a short time after his arrival at hospital, the court was told, and the cause of his death was given as malignant mesothelioma.

Area coroner for the Black Country, Joanne Lees, told the court the cause of Mr Stearn had a history of refurbishing vehicle brakes and grinding down asbestos lining in a confined workshop in the 1970s and "it was during that time that he was exposed to asbestos" - she said.

She said exposure to asbestos was likely caused during the course of Mr Stearn's employment and concluded his death was due to industrial disease.