Posted by Helen Childs, Partner
Government announces average mesothelioma payments of £123,000 from fund of last resort
In July of this year a fund of last resort will begin to make payments to individuals affected by mesothelioma, who have been unable to make a civil claim for compensation because their previous employers cannot be traced.
The scheme is funded by a levy on the insurance industry and goes some way towards righting a long standing wrong. Namely, that individuals who had been exposed to asbestos at work years before, but whose employers were no longer trading and whose insurers could not be traced were unable to recover any compensation at all.
The government has today (Friday 7 March) announced that average payouts under the scheme will be £123,000.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive asbestos related cancer that takes decades to develop. It kills thousands of people every year in the UK, and the numbers of people diagnosed continue to rise.
Withy King’s asbestos claims specialist Helen Childs comments, “No compensation can be enough for individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, or family members who have lost loved ones to this cruel illness. For many years, I have occasionally had to advise some families that despite extensive searches we have been unable to track down an employer or insurance company to pay the compensation that is due to them, and therefore that they would receive nothing. At least now, for those who were exposed to asbestos in the workplace, they should receive something. However, the payments they will receive will normally fall short of what is due – sometimes tens or hundreds of thousands less. My recent settlements include two cases that settled for in excess of £750,000 each – if they had had to submit their claims to this fund my clients would have received a fraction of what they did. The scheme also only covers individuals who were diagnosed after 25 July 2012, and only applies to mesothelioma sufferers. Asbestos also causes other illnesses, some of them very serious diseases like lung cancer and asbestosis. This fund will do nothing to help those individuals or their families.”
Anyone affected by mesothelioma or other industrial diseases please call Helen Childs on 0800 051 8056 or 07876 805431 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.