A former St Andrews academic who contracted a rare form of cancer has lost his bid for compensation from the University.

Dr Robert Prescott could have won £180,000 damages if he had succeeded in his claim against the University of St Andrews.

The former lecturer was diagnosed with the terminal illness peritoneal mesothelioma in 2012 and sued the University alleging he contracted the disease because of exposure to asbestos during his work.

The amount of compensation to be paid in the action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh was agreed, but liability was contested.

A judge ruled that Dr Prescott’s damages claim against the university failed.

In the action Dr Prescott, 77, of Anstruther, contended he was exposed to asbestos during renovation works at the Old Library building in St Mary’s Quad in the 1970s.

The building was being modernised to house the psychology department.

Dr Prescott was a lecturer in behavioural science in the university psychology department and in 1983 was appointed as the inaugural director of the Scottish Institute of Maritime Studies.

However the presiding judge, Lord Pentland ruled against Dr Presscott’s claim, stating that his recollection of events was unreliable.

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