Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has warned that government plans for the Mesothelioma Bill needs to be overseen by an independent body in order to guarantee that there is no conflict of interest.
The Mesothelioma Bill is currently on parliament’s agenda and will create a scheme where some workers who have suffered the fatal lung cancer can claim the damages they are entitled to, even if the details of their former employers insurance companies can not be found.
It will be paid for by a levy on insurance companies and it has emerged during parliamentary debate that the scheme could be insurer led which in the minds of APIL would lead to a serious conflict of interest, that could have adverse effects for the victim.
Former APIL Chairman, Karl Tonks said: “This scheme has much to commend it. But here is the independence if an insurance body is appointed to run the scheme, and insurers are also funding. Where is the protection for the victim?”
“The scheme is to be established by the Secretary of State but this does not guarantee long term consistent, impartial oversight of its day-to-day business. If the decision is made to allow insurers to run the scheme a new body must be established to review its work and to ensure it is operating fairly and in the best interests of the victim. The review body can then report to the Secretary of State who should then report to parliament on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, six MPs called for the exclusion of certain parts of the bill ahead of yesterdays discussion in the House of Lords claiming that the percentage of asbestos and asbestos-related illness sufferers who are eligible to seek compensation needed increasing as the current figure only helps 50% of sufferers.
Are you suffering from something that resulted in being in contact with asbestos such as mesothelioma? Or have you attracted an industrial disease from work that is greatly affecting your lifestyle? Scott Rees solicitors have won many successful industrial disease claims and will provide you with professional, impartial advice should you need it.
1. APIL; https://www.apil.org.uk/