There is growing pressure on the government to review the terms of its Mesothelioma Bill yesterday after it was discovered that up to 200 servicemen from before 1987 are not entitled to mesothelioma claim compensation for contracting the fatal disease, despite risking life and limb for the country.
Under current government legislation sailors, soldiers and airmen, many of whom were exposed to asbestos while working on shipbuilding sites for the Royal Navy cannot claim for compensation if they were exposed to asbestos before 1987 and it would appear that the new Mesothelioma Bill being passed though the House of Lords also ignores veterans before that year.
Leading the cries for change is Labour MP Thomas Docherty who said: “It’s an outrage that Ministry of Defence (MoD) bureaucracy is failing to close this unacceptable loophole. These men and their families are not being given the support from their country that they deserve.”
The Mesothelioma Bill, proposed by the government, has been consistently criticised for the omission of thousands of suffers because of when they’re claim dates back to, which is an outrage considering that the disease is a slow killer and that symptoms can sometimes take up to 40 years to even show.
Not only is the new scheme restricted for use by only those who were diagnosed after July 2012 but the government has also imposed a 70% cap of the average compensation, that a victim claiming without knowing the details of their insurers can claim. They are literally stealing vital funds from the poor in order to save money for themselves.
The Mesothelioma Bill will be funded by a levy on insurance companies but this really is a drop in the ocean compared to what those who were diagnosed before July 2012 are going to lose out on by not having the ability to claim.
A petition has been started up against the lack of support for Mesothelioma sufferers which you can sign here.
If you have been affected by an asbestos related illness, you can talk to one of our serious injury specialists about how we can help your today by calling us on 0800 614 361.
1. Wikipedia; Charles J Sharp; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Military_Academy_Sandhurst#/media/File:Inspection-New-Colours.JPG