Solicitors and insurers react to Mesothelioma Bill
Insurers and solicitors have been reacting to the government’s proposed Mesothelioma Bill, which sets out a new scheme for compensating victims who cannot trace their insurer.
The Bill, which is set to be passed into law in the next few weeks, will see victims in these cases receive 75% of the average compensation awarded to Mesothelioma sufferers who are able to take the matter to court.
This money will come from a levy imposed on employers’ liability insurers, a fund which will also be used to continue research into a cure for the industrial disease.
Some analysts have commented that this represents a reasonable compromise for victims and insurers. In particular, they have noted that some of the insurance companies who will contribute to the levy have only been established relatively recently.
As most Mesothelioma victims have developed their condition over many years, it follows that these insurers are not linked to any business responsible for providing working conditions that caused staff to suffer from the disease.
However, some have been less welcoming. Karl Tonks from The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said the organisation was “disappointed” at the final outcome, adding: “Our perspective throughout has been the correct level [of compensation] is 100%”.
Despite this view, he conceded it was “good” that there was at least some money available for victims.
Minister explains 75% figure
Work and Pensions minister Mike Penning came under fire from some quarters of the House of Commons who felt he could have secured a better deal for victims.
In response, Mr Penning explained that he felt the need to be “pragmatic” in order to ensure that compensation was available sooner rather than later for these victims. He said that, while he would have preferred to try and force the cap up to 80%, such a move would have cast doubt over whether the Bill would receive royal assent.
Additionally, one proposed amendment wanted to take the entire debate back to its initial consultation phase, which began in 2010. Mr Penning surmised that following this suggestion would have cost up to £80 million.
Advice for Mesothelioma victims
If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma as a result of unsafe working conditions throughout your career, Sheldon Davidson Solicitors may be able to help.
As we have seen, how much you can claim in compensation hinges on whether your former employer’s insurer can be found.
Whatever the circumstances, our team will work tirelessly on your behalf to ensure you receive as much compensation as possible to help you and your family. Contact us today for further details on how we can help.