Legal experts who support victims of negligent asbestos exposure and help them to obtain compensation for mesothelioma and the much needed care that arises from this disease have today welcomed news that lump sum payments to sufferers of the fatal cancer, who are not able to hold those responsible for their illness accountable, will increase.
The news comes after MPs unanimously approved a 2.4% increase to the mesothelioma scheme – bringing it in line with inflation - although the Government was urged to change the law to ensure such a move does not require a Commons vote in the future.
Commenting on the announcement Deb Krelle, Head of Industrial Disease claims at leading National law firm Simpson Millar, said it would provide ‘much comfort’ to many victims and their families who are unable to bring legal action against their former place of work – either because the company has gone bust, or because the insurers are unknown.
"Mesothelioma is a very cruel disease that can lay dormant for decades after the exposure to asbestos has taken place, meaning the companies responsible for failing to protect their employees have gone out of business, or the records regarding the insurer are irretrievable.
“This scheme is therefore a comfort to those victims and their families who cannot hold their former employers responsible – providing them with access to vital financial support at what is a very difficult and distressing time in their lives."
"To implement an incremental increase in line with inflation is absolutely common sense, and I am delighted to see that the government is starting to move in a direction that will ensure that happens in the very near future."
Partner, Head of Industrial Disease
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer of the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos. According to the British Lung Foundation around 60,000 people will die from the disease over the next 30 years unless new treatments are found.
Deb added, “Day after day we work with our clients in order to hold accountable those who were responsible for their health and wellbeing at work and for the exposure they endured to what is an extremely dangerous substance.
“The risks of asbestos have been widely known since the 1960’s and so there is simply no excuse as to why people in this day and age are still receiving this devastating diagnosis. For many in this position, justice – even when their employers can be found and sued - will never truly be done.”
In December last year Simpson Millar announced that it was renewing its commitment to British Lung Foundation – which provides advice, support and legal assistance to hundreds of people across the country who are diagnosed with mesothelioma - by signing up to be a patron for the third consecutive year.
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