Queen’s Speech gives hope to mesothelioma sufferers
Earlier this month, the Queen gave her annual speech at the state opening of Parliament, in which she outlined the government’s plans for the year ahead.
This included a Mesothelioma Bill, in which Her Majesty stated:
“Legislation will be introduced to ensure sufferers of a certain asbestos-related cancer receive payments where no liable employer or insurer can be traced.”
Essentially, this Bill will allow sufferers of the disease to receive compensation even if they cannot put forward an employer, or employers’ liability insurer, that is at fault for their illness.
The scheme is set to begin in 2014, and will see investment of £355 million in the first ten years. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma after 25 July 2012 will be eligible to claim.
Her Majesty’s speech, which is drafted by the government, suggests that the new plans will correct “an insurance market failure” that saw insurers fail to keep adequate records of Employers’ Liability Insurance during the time workers may have been exposed to asbestos.
Any payments under the scheme would be in addition to the reported £200 million already given out to mesothelioma sufferers by the insurance industry.
The Bill is due to begin passing through the House of Lords, after which it will be debated in the House of Commons and then by a Committee before the final version can be passed into law.
Legal advice for industrial disease victims
If you believe you have fallen victim to mesothelioma as a result of poor or unsafe working conditions, it is important you act in the same way as any other victim of an industrial disease. By contacting experienced personal injury solicitors, you stand a good chance of finding the employer who is responsible for your illness.
The time limit on such cases is three years from the date of your diagnosis, and as such there will only be a relatively small window in which to search for the relevant employer. The proposed government Bill is a last resort, and it is often the case that you will be able to pinpoint the employer at fault.
Your solicitor will look to establish that your employer should have done more to prevent you being exposed to the asbestos that eventually led to your mesothelioma. Common cases include a failure to provide a safe working environment, relevant training for working with dangerous chemicals or the correct protective equipment.
Once this fault has been established, your industrial disease solicitor will look to reach a settlement with the employer and their insurance company. If this is not possible, they can also represent you at any subsequent tribunal.
If you’d like more information on this matter, contact Sheldon Davidson Solicitors today.