The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has ludicrously claimed that the debate on the Mesothelioma Act, of which they themselves are accused of entering a deal with the Government over, is dominated by the vested interest of claimant solicitors.
In January the Government passed legislation that saw the exemption of Mesothelioma claims from the terms of LASPO lifted.
It is now widely believed that the insurers used this as a proposed bartering point with the Government, in order for them to agree to fund the industry levy, as part of the Mesothelioma Act.
The ABI themselves have refused to accept these accusations and more astonishing launched an offensive over the legal costs of claims of this nature, insinuating that the debate was leaning heavily towards the vested interests of the claimant solicitors.
Head of Motor and Liability for the ABI, Jack Dalton said: “What we said clearly to the government, as part of our discussions in relation to the establishment of an untraced scheme for Mesothelioma payments, was that on the costs and delay of getting compensation to people, whether traced or untraced, the delay is too big and the costs are too high, and that as part of a broad package of measures, including the introduction of an untraced scheme, the government should look at that.”
An ABI spokesman followed this up with a statement given to the Post Magazine saying: “We are concerned that the legal costs for Mesothelioma claims remain disproportionately high and are disappointed with the progress of reforms, which will allow Mesothelioma sufferers to benefit from the LASPO reforms.
“The debate appears to be dominated by the vested interests of claimant solicitors, who currently stand to gain if these much needed changes are not brought into force.”
What makes these accusations so ludicrous is the insurer’s own insistence that victims of Mesothelioma who are being forced to make claims down the route of the Mesothelioma Act because their employers’ insurance details are untraceable, were not to be afforded the full 100% compensation they would have been entitled to, had they been able to trace them.
Meanwhile, because of the fact they are holding back from paying 25% of the damages, the insurers are expecting the claimant lawyers to drop their fees for these claims, despite this being down to the poor practice and record keeping of their own industry.
The biggest problem with the Mesothelioma Act and one that is recognised clearly by the claimant solicitor is that the debate is not dominated enough by the vested interest of the claimants, who are the most important people in this process..
If someone has contracted this awful disease, then it is down to their employer, under his duty of care, to provide compensation and if their insurance records are untraceable then it is only right that the industry covers the full cost.
Their refusal to, is just the latest in a long line of methods, for insurers to cut the cost to them and boost their own profits as they have done in other areas of the personal injury industry.
The key difference with these types of claims are that victims of mesothelioma are not getting the money to start a new life, or even for rehabilitation, as the disease they have contracted is fatal.
They require the compensation to ensure that, as their life is cruelly cut short, they are able to provide security for the families that they are so tragically forced to leave behind.
So to deny them the full compensation of which they deserve is as close to daylight robbery as you can possibly get and brings into question the moral compass of anyone who proceeds to do so.
1. www.abi.org.uk; http://blog.abi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/James_Dalton_blog-e1375261714677.jpg