The government’s Mesothelioma Bill will deprive hundreds of people with the fatal asbestos-related cancer of compensation, Thompsons Solicitors says.

The Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech on 8 May, establishes a scheme of last resort for untraced employers’ liability claims. But it limits support to mesothelioma only, imposes an arbitrary cut-off date of 25 July 2012 and is expected to pay only 70% of damages.

National head of asbestos litigation at Thompsons

Ian McFall, national head of asbestos litigation at Thompsons, said:

“While the Bill will be presented as an act of benevolence, it is the result of a deal struck between the government and the insurance industry without consultation with claimants, support groups or trade unions.

“Aside from the thousands of people who have been deprived of compensation over the years due to the insurance industry's incompetence in losing or destroying the policies it sold for decades in a compulsory market, hundreds more people will lose out due to the government’s delay of over two years in announcing this limited scheme, because the scheme is only effective from the date of that announcement.

“The fact is this scheme will not provide full protection or full compensation to victims and their families.”

To read Thompsons briefing: Mesothelioma Bill