Call for Reform in the Law for Asbestos Compensation Claims
A new campaign has been launched by the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK (AVSGF) and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) for a change in the law to allow for fairer asbestos compensation claims for victims of asbestos-related lung cancer.
There are a number of different types of asbestos disease. Currently, if someone is suffering from asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural thickening, the only way in which the individual can receive full compensation is by tracing all the individual employers who are responsible for the exposure to asbestos. This, however, is not the case if the individual has mesothelioma.
Once all the employers who are responsible for the exposure to asbestos are traced, compensation is then apportioned between the different employers. Each employer is only responsible for their individual share.
The issue with the law as it currently stands, is that it is not always possible to trace all employers who are liable as part of some asbestos compensation claims. Some may be dissolved companies, or they may be uninsured. As a result, this leaves victims with shortfalls in the compensation that is received.
Subsequently, Mr Docherty-Hughes, MP has filed an Early Day Motion (EDM 1223) to introduce legislation to deliver justice for people suffering from these apportioned asbestos diseases. This motion recognises that victims of mesothelioma are able to seek full compensation from just one employer who negligently exposed the victim to asbestos, even if he worked for a number of different employers, but sufferers of asbestos-related lung cancer cannot. This is despite the fact that they are very similar diseases with long-lasting impacts on the victim. This disparity can therefore make the asbestos compensation claims unfairly rewarded.
Mr Docherty-Hughes stated that this EDM “could introduce legislation to reflect what is already in place for mesothelioma sufferers, a strikingly similar asbestos-related cancer, who can recover full compensation from any one responsible employer in these circumstances”.
James Walsh, head of the asbestos compensation claims team at GA Solicitors in Plymouth, fully supports the motion and states “The aim of the campaign is to reform the law to ensure equality and fairness. It should be the case that every single victim suffering from an asbestos disease should be entitled to 100% of their compensation if they can find one liable employer who negligently exposed them to asbestos.”
Currently, Mr Docherty-Hughes’ EDM has received much support from MPs across multiple parties and further information on the EDM can be found here at: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/60955/asbestosrelated-lung-cancer .
James Walsh is an experienced asbestos compensation claims solicitor in Plymouth with more than 25 years of experience. He is recognised nationally for his success in this specialist sector and is an Occupational Disease and Asbestos Disease specialist with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). He is one of only two solicitors with this accreditation West of Bristol covering the Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset counties – APIL – Accredited Asbestos & Mesothelioma Lawyers.
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