LEGAL EAGLE: The need to do more to cover all asbestos-related injuries
Today we look at the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme and the changes that could be made to help victims of asbestos injuries.
People have previously lost out on damages for serious asbestos related injuries, due to inability to locate insurance cover for their periods of employment.
Thousands of people in industrial towns up and down the country have been exposed to asbestos in the past by their employers when they should not have been. This should not go uncompensated as it can lead to death because of this negligence.
This is why nearly six years ago a ‘fund of last resort’ was established to compensate sufferers for only one particular fatal workplace lung cancer, namely mesothelioma.
Mark Ellis, a Partner and Personal Injury and Industrial Disease specialist at Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors in Hartlepool, takes up the story of a scheme put in place to help those that have suffered receive justice.
“The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme was set up to help the sick and dying victims of mesothelioma to receive the justice they desperately need, when other avenues are closed to them. The Scheme is a step in the right direction because it does compensate where insurance cannot be found for companies to pay damages for mesothelioma.
"However, this does not compensate other asbestos sufferers who are in a similar situation. As I stated, the Scheme is a step in the right direction but there are still many more people with other asbestos diseases left without adequate compensation and adequate justice.
"These people have worked their whole lives to reach retirement age only to be struck down with an asbestos related injury: - asbestosis, pleural thickening, lung cancer. They are however blocked from the scheme designed to help because they do not have the right type of asbestos related disease.
"TBI’s Personal Injury team is aware of countless clients who have passed away without recompense for the injuries they have suffered, and this cannot be allowed to continue.”
The way forward? “Either there should be a compulsory register of employers liability insurers so that insurance can be located to cover all types of cases and, where there is no insurance cover, the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme should be extended to cover all asbestos related injuries.”
Speak to Tilly Bailey & Irvine’s Personal Injury solicitors in Hartlepool about injuries or negligence online or by calling us on 0333 444 4422.