Mesothelioma Bill causes controversy

The government’s Mesothelioma Bill is currently (as of mid June) being discussed in Parliament. However, concerns have been raised that the new legislation will deny hundreds of people access to compensation for other asbestos-related diseases contracted in the workplace.

The Bill will create a payment scheme enabling people to receive compensation for developing Mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, if the victim’s employer or their insurance company can’t be traced. Up to 3,500 people are expected to benefit.

However, in its current form the Bill will only allow people diagnosed with Mesothelioma after 25 July 2012 to claim under the scheme. It makes no provision for people with other asbestos-related conditions such as asbestosis and pleural thickening, who could end up with no way of getting compensation.

A spokesperson for Injury Lawyers 4U, a national network of personal injury solicitors, commented: ‘If the Mesothelioma Bill is passed as it stands, this is very bad news for anyone diagnosed before the cut-off date, or who develops a different type of asbestos-related condition and then cannot trace their former employer.’

‘It’s a well-known fact that asbestos-related illnesses can take years to develop. In today’s economic climate, companies are selling up or going out of business every day. Our concern is that people who develop illnesses such as asbestosis in, say, five years time when their ex-workplace has disappeared, will be unable to claim compensation – potentially leaving them and their families in dire financial straits.’

Like many MPs and other personal injury firms, Injury Lawyers 4U believe the government must amend the Mesothelioma Bill so people who’ve developed an industrial disease through no fault of their own get the financial compensation they deserve and need.

If the Bill is passed, the new payment scheme could be launched in April 2014. So it’s important that anyone with a potential claim, and who may not be eligible for a payout under the proposed system, takes action now.

Asbestos-related claims are complex and other time limits do apply, such as the requirement that diagnosis took place within the last three years. So it’s essential to seek expert legal advice – and Injury Lawyers 4U are here to help. We work on a genuine ‘no win, no fee’ basis, so there’s nothing to lose by asking us to pursue your claim.

The legal team at Injury Lawyers 4U has wide experience of handling asbestos-related claims. Call today on 0845 345 4444 for honest, expert advice.