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Personal Injury Solicitor Simon Allen on the emergence of a draft Mesothelioma Bill

It is pleasing to see a draft Mesothelioma Bill emerge today which seeks to address one of the UK's most unsatisfactory social issues, namely; the lack of financial redress for sufferers of mesothelioma who's former employers or their insurers are untraceable.

Over 2000 people each year are diagnosed with this condition in the UK. Most had exposure more than 30 years ago and their employers have long disappeared, but more importantly so have details of their insurance cover.

There is presently no obligation on an employer to record its insurance history and despite the financial and administrative resources of the insurance industry there is presently over 3500 mesothelioma sufferers unable to find an insurer to pay the damages should they succeed in a claim for damages through the courts in respect of their illness and the financial losses it creates. Depending on a number of factors, but particularly the age of the sufferer, these claims can readily merit 6 figure awards in compensation.

This Bill seeks to provide a solution by requiring 'live' insurers to make payment into a fund to provide recompense. Details of how precisely this will operate and the payments that will be awarded are awaited, but the news is very positive.

Mesothelioma is a horrible illness. Those suffering from it were almost always exposed through the failings of others; by example; ex-employers, when at school, or by an occupier of a building. They deserve to receive some financial recompense for so many reasons but, not least that it provides a small degree of comfort that they leave their loved ones with some security. A civilised society should be able to provide this.

By Personal Injury Solicitor Simon Allen.

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