Bold steps are needed to restore compensation to people with pleural plaques.
In its response to the Ministry of Justice consultation, which ends today, Thompsons Solicitors sets out four key demands:
• Legislation to overturn the House of Lords decision.
Only if the judgment is not be overturned then:
• A no fault scheme paid for by insurers.
And in any event:
• An insurance fund of last resort for workers’ compensation.
• Outlawing the use of “CT scan vans” by claims farmers.
Ian McFall, Thompsons’ head of asbestos policy said: ”Overturning the House of Lords decision would restore justice to people whose lungs bear the scars caused by negligent exposure to asbestos”.
Thompsons says that the only acceptable alternative to overturning the Lords’ ruling is a no fault compensation scheme paid for by the insurance industry, running hand in hand with an insurance fund of last resort for workers’ compensation - an Employers Liability Insurance Bureau (ELIB) - based on the Motor Insurance Bureau model.
“When insurance companies saved £billions as a result of the Lords’ ruling last year they said they wanted to get compensation more quickly to people who are affected by the deadly effects of asbestos,” says McFall. “Insurers now have an opportunity to back up their warm words with action. They have the reserves to compensate people with pleural plaques. It would be a scandal for them to now say that they wont use those reserves and hypocrisy of the highest order for them not to agree to an insurance fund of last resort.”
An ELIB would guarantee that workers injured or killed by negligent, uninsured employers have the same right to compensation as people injured or killed by uninsured drivers.
McFall said: “By establishing an ELIB the government would reinforce its commitment to asbestos sufferers and create a permanent legacy for the benefit of injured working people.
“No other single measure would better serve to protect the interests of injured workers and, in particular, asbestos victims and their families.”
Read Thompsons Solicitors' full response to the Ministry of Justice Pleural Plaques Consultation.
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.