Cam belt failure - what can I do?

Our cambelt shredded, causing sudden and complete power loss on a busy motorway, with no warning. We discovered on searching through the full service history paperwork that it hadn't been replaced or put as an advisory on any of the services, MOTs or repairs in the two years since it was needing replacement. We expected the mechanic we had been using for eight years to discuss what could be done in terms of investigating whether repairs might be feasible, as it had been a good little car. He didn't listen to what my husband was asking and immediately got aggressive accusing my husband of not taking responsibility for asking for the cam belt to be replaced. Are we missing something here or can the mechanic be held responsible for the cam belt failure?
Basically people go to small mechanics to get their cars maintained for minimum cost. If they want extras like the brake fluid changing or the coolant changing or the timing belt changing then costs escalate. A timing belt, tensioner and waterpump replacement is at least £300, to which most owners say no and, because of that, most mechanics stop asking.
Answered by Honest John on

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