Posted by Richard Brooks, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
High Court rules in favour of asbestos victims
Plans by the Government to deduct legal fees from the damages paid out to people dying from exposure to asbestos have been ruled unlawful by the High Court.
The Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK has successfully challenged the proposals, which would have required 25 per cent of damages awarded to mesothelioma sufferers to be used to pay for insurance premiums and legal costs.
Mr Justice William Davis ruled that the Lord Chancellor had not carried out a proper review into the impact the proposals would have on those battling the deadly lung condition.
Doug Jewell, from the AVSG Forum, said that the decision had lifted the “burden of fear” from thousands of mesothelioma sufferers, who will no longer have to worry about being saddled with the legal costs irrespective of whether they win or lose.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Mesothelioma is an awful condition which can destroy lives in a frighteningly short amount of time, and we want to help sufferers and their families.
“We are committed to finding the best way to get claims settled fairly and quickly.
“It remains our view that the Ministry of Justice review of this issue was conducted fully and openly and we are disappointed with this judgment. We will now consider our next steps.”
Over 1.3 million workers could be at risk of asbestos-related diseases according to a recent survey by the Health and Safety Executive.
Construction workers, carpenters, painters and decorators are among the tradesmen who are in greatest danger, with research suggesting that, on average, they could be coming into contact with the deadly substance more than 100 times a year.
At Royds, our personal injury team has a wealth of experience representing both claimants and defendants in respect of industrial disease claims (specifically in relation to asbestos and mestothelioma claims). For more information please visit or email James Millar Craig.