A judge awarded each of John McCarn's five children £35,000 after accepting the family was robbed of at least another 18 years with their father.
Mr McCarn, of Greenock, worked for Scott's Shipbuilding and Engineering in the town for just five years as an apprentice from the age of 14.
But Mr McCarn, who has 11 grandchildren, was not diagnosed until January 2009, when he was told he had malignant mesothelioma and had only months to live.
His distraught daughter Catherine, 35, spoke for the first time about her anger and grief for her father, who took over the role of both parents after her mother died of cancer when she was a teenager.
Before his death at the age of just 69 in November 2009, John launched legal action against the shipbuilder, which closed down in 1993.
But it has taken his family five years of fighting to get Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, who is responsible for the rights and responsibilities of the former British shipbuilders, to admit liability.
At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Lord Bannatyne ruled that life expectancy was a "significant factor" in the assessment of compensation.
Mum Catherine insisted "no amount of money" could ever compensate for the loss of her dad. The 35-year-old, who is getting married soon, said it was "heartbreaking" that her dad won't actually be there to walk her down the isle.
Catherine wept as she recalled how her fit and healthy dad rapidly went downhill after the cancer diagnosis.
She said: "I will never get over his death.
"He was everything to me - no amount of money can ever bring him back.
"My dad didn't want to die, he wasn't ready.
"His death was the most awful, painful thing ever and I had to watch this proud, fit and healthy man crumble in front of me."