Mesothelioma Compensation Bill Goes To Lords

A Bill offering faster compensation for people suffering from mesothelioma has passed through the House of Commons. The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill will allow adults afflicted by mesothelioma to receive swifter settlements. It was given an unopposed third reading, and now goes to the Lords. 

But Labour Barnsley West and Penistone MP Michael Clapham said people suffering from another lung disease, pleural plaques, should also be entitled to compensation. He made the comments after a Lords ruling in October prevented workers suing their employers over the condition, which is also linked to asbestos exposure. 

However, junior work and pensions minister James Plaskitt said the Law Lords considered the issue thoroughly before concluding that pleural plaques did not constitute "actionable or compensatable damage". Before the ruling, those suffering from pleural plaques had been entitled to make a claim for compensation, but hundreds of cases have now been defeated, potentially saving the insurance industry million of pounds. 

Dominic Hemsi, partner and solicitor at McCool, Paterson & Hemsi commented:

"The Bill illustrates the continuing committment of the government initially  demonstrated by their reversal of the house of lords decision in the Barker case which prevented compensation for mesothelioma sufferers and their dependents. The government announced their intention to improve the compensation process in terms of speed and efficiency for civil compensation, state benefits and under the pneumoconiosis scheme.

Delay and obstructions by defendants  are standard and effective weapons used by the insurance industry to either put claimants off completely or to ensure they accept a smaller lower settlement.The insurance industry was successful in making asbestos related pleural plaques and other assymptomatic conditions non compensatable in October this year when the House of Lords again ruled in the industry's favour despite dealing with these cases for the previous 25 years.

In Scotland the Executive are processing a bill to reverse this decision which the Govenrment have already refused to do. It is crucial for pleural plaque sufferers to get behind attempts to reverse the House of Lords decison by seeking support from their MP."

Dominic reminded readers of this website: "Please support the lobby of Parliament called by the GMB Heat and Frost Insualtion Branches re the plaques issues.

The lobby will take place Tuesday 29th January, Houses of Parliament 2pm meeting room 14 with MPs and others."

Source: Workplace Law / MPH



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