DWP launches support scheme for mesothelioma victims

The Minister for Welfare Lord Freud, together with the Association of British Insurers, have today announced that a new support scheme for mesothelioma victims will be launched. It is anticipated that mesothelioma victims across the UK will receive £300million in payments in the first 10 years. 

Mesothelioma is a terminal cancer that is only caused by asbestos exposure.  It typically takes between 10 and 60 years to develop.  The majority of cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos suffered by victims in the workplace many years ago. 

Unfortunately, given the amount of time it can take for mesothelioma to develop, many of the companies who exposed victims to asbestos have gone out of business.  In addition, many victims are unable to claim because they cannot locate their former employer's insurers.  More than 300 mesothelioma sufferers a year lose out on compensation because they are unable to trace a liable employer or insurer. This new scheme, which will be funded by insurers, will ensure that, mesothelioma sufferers will receive the compensation they deserve. 

Today's announcement follows a two-year wait after the last government consulted on the need for a fund of last resort for victims who cannot claim compensation. Solicitors at Thrings LLP have worked closely with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers in campaigning for such a scheme to be established.   

Lord Freud said “We have worked hard together with the insurance industry to agree this package of measures on behalf of those who face this terrible disease.  The new scheme will mean that for the first time sufferers of Diffuse Mesothelioma can trace the responsible employer or Employer’s liability Insurers and will have access to extra payments”. 

For advice or more information, contact Graeme Chisholm.

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