Industrial Disease claims Lawyers at Simpson Millar have pointed out that symptoms of mesothelioma - an incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres - may not develop for many years.
Furthermore, the law firm stated that the majority of Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel are likely to have docked in U.S. ports at some point in their career, and been exposed to harmful asbestos fibres at this time as ships were usually refitted and maintenance work carried out whilst in dock in the U.S.
As a result, Simpson Millar believes that a person in this situation, including family members of those who have died of mesothelioma within the last 3 years, could still be able to claim compensation.
The law firm stated that in certain circumstances, a claim for asbestos compensation could be brought in the U.S instead of or in addition to the UK.
For instance, it said a former member of the Royal Navy or Merchant Navy who was exposed to asbestos on board ship can potentially bring a product liability claim against the manufacturers of the asbestos or asbestos components aboard the vessels where the exposure took place.
Simpson Millar would therefore be able to work in association with a law firm in the U.S. with whom the firm has brought similar claims in the past, liaise with the Coroner and obtain Probate on their behalf.
Simpson Millar is encouraging ex-Navy personnel who docked in a U.S. port and been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last three years to get in touch to see whether they might be entitled to industrial disease compensation.