Government plans for mesothelioma could leave sufferers high and dry

nurse looking after a patient

The Government’s scheme to speed up payments for mesothelioma-affected patients has received heavy criticism from claimant lawyers such as Scott Rees & Co, who have claimed that it runs a very real risk of leaving victims of the asbestos-related cancer seriously out of pocket.

The Bill was announced as part of the Queen’s Speech in parliament last week and would create a scheme where sufferers of the disease who can not trace their liable employer or insurer can still receive payment in a timescale similar to those who have found the liable parties.

The revealing of the scheme has been met with criticism for its exclusivity for just people who suffer from that particular strain of asbestos disease and it also only applies to those who have made claims previous to 25th July 2012, leaving people who claimed before that still out of pocket.

The Vice President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) was particularly critical of the announced scheme saying: “All victims of asbestos-related disease should receive the urgent compensation they deserve… It is not right that those who suffer other lung cancers or conditions caused by asbestos may get nothing under the proposed legislation.”

His views were supported by the head of Irwin Mitchell’s asbestos-related diseases’ team Adrian Budgen who said: “The scheme will apply only to mesothelioma claims and so will leave around half of asbestos victims high and dry.”

Regarding the reports that settlements under the scheme would be 30% less than the average compensation received currently, which according to his firms research would mean mesothelioma victims would miss out on £52,000 Mr Budgen said: “Mesothelioma victims have faced many legal challenges in recent years. This is yet another one. What they really deserve is full and fair financial security for their families – not to be fed into an automated process which will short change innocent victims, which is certain to happen if the government continues to follow this agenda.”

The Bill, which is another example of the close knit relationship the government has with the insurance industry as they negotiated the terms of it, was unsurprisingly welcomed by the director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), Otto Thoresen.

He said: “Mesothelioma is a devastating disease which has a terrible impact on sufferers and their families. The insurance industry wants to do all it can to help sufferers and has worked with the government on this package of measures that will deliver help to claimants must faster, including to those who otherwise go uncompensated.”

If you have been affected by an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, or any type of industrial disease, then bring a claim to Scott Rees & Co and let our solicitors advise you with our expert knowledge in this industry. Having a solicitor greatly increases your chances of a successful claim, so let us fight for the maximum claim amount of compensation that you deserve.

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