The Mesothelioma Bill

Dated:

As part of the Queen's Speech on 8th May 2013, a Mesothelioma Bill was announced to provide payments for mesothelioma sufferers where a liable employer or insurer is not traceable.

Asbestos Mesothelioma

The Mesothelioma Bill will:
  • support mesothelioma claimants exposed at work where no solvent employer or insurer to claim against can be traced
  • streamline the claims process so that there are set timescales for providing information and fixed legal costs
  • speed up the legal process by ensuring all relevant information for mesothelioma sufferers to register claims is kept in one place on an online portal

The scheme is expected to be in place by July 2014, and only people diagnosed with mesothelioma from 25 July 2012 will be able to claim.

The streamlined process also means that compensation will be paid within 3 months if an employer or insurer can be traced, and 3-5 months where an employer or insurer cannot be traced.

Claiming compensation for mesothelioma is difficult for sufferers when the companies responsible have gone out of business, therefore it is important you obtain legal advice. This new scheme will be funded by the insurance industry and will be compulsory for all employers' liability insurers.

Otto Thoresen, Director General of the Association of British Insurers, commented: "Mesothelioma is a devastating disease which has a terrible impact on sufferers and their families. The insurance industry wants to do all it can to help sufferers and has worked with the government on this package of measures that will deliver help to claimants much faster, including to those who would otherwise go uncompensated."

Emma Costin, Head of Industrial Disease at Simpson Millar, comments: "We welcome any additional help for victims of asbestos and their families. We have long campaigned for a fund of last resort. The devil will be in the detail and we await publication of the Bill with interest. From what has been announced it would appear that assistance will only be available for victims of mesothelioma diagnosed in the past year and that there will be nothing for victims of asbestos lung cancer, diffuse pleural thickening or asbestosis. On that basis the Bill does not go far enough, in our view. It also remains to be seen whether victims will receive full compensation, and what safeguards there will be to ensure that each victim is independently advised in relation to a fair settlement."




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