Digby Brown welcome announcement on mesothelioma victims, call on DWP to extend new scheme
Digby Brown has welcomed the announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of an Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau scheme for mesothelioma claims.
The firm has called on the DWP to consider extending the scheme to cover victims of other asbestos-related conditions, and other diseases and injuries, who are unable to receive compensation because no liable insurer can be identified.
The new DWP scheme seeks to allow mesothelioma victims who have been unable to pursue claims because their former employers are out of business and their insurers cannot be identified, to receive compensation.
Ruth Bertram, Head of Digby Brown’s Industrial Disease Department, said:
“This announcement is a major step forward for victims of mesothelioma. Although there are comparatively few people who will need to resort to the scheme, it will provide much needed financial support at a time when the lives of the victim and their entire family have been devastated by this terrible disease.
“It remains to be seen how the scheme will operate and what levels of compensation will be available, and I look forward to seeing the draft legislation. The scheme will not immediately assist those who are diagnosed today because the DWP suggest that it will take at least two years for the scheme to be put in place.
“I hope also that this is just the first step and that the DWP will consider extending the scheme to other asbestos-related conditions and, indeed, other diseases and injuries where no compensation can be recovered as no insurer can be found.
“Diseases such as asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening and asbestos-related lung cancer all have very serious consequences for sufferers and, too often, people
cannot recover damages at all or can only recover a proportion of the damages they are due because an employer or insurer cannot be traced.
“Extending the scheme to other conditions and injuries would mean finally that the insurance industry would be taking full responsibility for those people whose lives have been permanently blighted simply by going to work.”
Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer of the lining of internal organs, notably, the lungs, and almost always arises from exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos diseases often takes up to 30 to 40 years to develop after first exposure to asbestos, consequently, many employers are no longer trading when a claim for compensation is made and a claimant must rely on tracing the employers insurance.
Ruth Bertram discusses Industrial Disease cases in one of the videos on the Digby Brown YouTube Channel. Click here to view the video.