Asbestos victims are set to be denied the right to receive the compensation they fully deserve on the Mesothelioma Bill outlined in the Queen's Speech yesterday. It was announced that sufferers of mesothelioma, only one type of asbestos-related cancer, will receive compensation where no liable employer or insurer can be traced. This means that those suffering from other forms of asbestos-related cancer, such as asbestosis, will be excluded from receiving similar compensation.
Commenting on the Bill John Spencer, Director of Spencers Solicitors said:
"All victims of asbestos related disease should receive the urgent compensation they deserve. It appears that the future fund announced in yesterday's Queen's speech will not go anywhere near far enough in ensuring justice for all victims of asbestos.
"Support for mesothelioma victims is long overdue, but it is not right that those who suffer other lung cancers or conditions caused by asbestos may get nothing under the proposed legislation. We urge MPs and Peers to amend the legislation to tackle this injustice."
Unfortunately the injustice does not stop there. For those that can claim under the new legislation, only those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma from 25 July 2012 can make a claim. This denies compensation to the thousands of people who have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma before summer last year.
The Government estimates that more than 300 mesothelioma sufferers a year currently lose out on compensation because they are unable to trace a liable employer or employers' liability insurer. The new scheme, funded by insurers, estimates that around 3,500 mesothelioma victims across the UK will be eligible to receive approximately £300 million in payments in the first 10 years of the fund.
John Spencer said of implementing the new legislation:
"It is of paramount importance that the Bill is introduced as early as possible and implemented speedily in order for inflicted victims to be given the compensation they urgently need.
"The sad reality is that any delay to implementing the legislation might mean that many of those applying to the fund might die before they receive any award."