Victims of a fatal work-related cancer will receive “watered-down justice” under a new Government scheme.
Ministers approved plans this week to pay compensation to mesothelioma sufferers who are unable to make a legal claim because the insurers of the employers who exposed them to asbestos cannot be traced.
“Under the scheme, mesothelioma victims will receive only 75 per cent of the amount of compensation they would receive if they had been able to have their day in court,” explained Matthew Stockwell, president of not-for-profit campaign group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
“It is bad enough that victims are exposed to deadly asbestos just by turning up for work, then forced to use this scheme because insurance records are no longer around. Now they are to be penalised by losing a quarter of what the courts determine is fair redress. This is not the justice these people deserve,” he said.
Matthew acknowledged that the scheme is a valuable first step in helping people with work-related diseases who cannot claim compensation because insurance records cannot be traced, but he said it needs to go further.
“Help for mesothelioma victims in any form is crucial, and this scheme is at least a start,” he said. “But there are many other workers affected by the heartbreaking consequences of workplace safety mismanagement. We will push the Government to keep going and work to ensure full justice is available to all those who need it”.
• APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) is a not-for-profit organisation whose members are dedicated to campaigning for improvements in the law to help people who are injured or become ill through no fault of their own.
• For more information contact APIL’s press and communications officers Jane Hartwell on t: 0115 943 5416, m: 07808 768623, e: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tim Carter t: 0115 943 5409, e: email@example.com.
• Visit the association’s website at www.apil.org.uk.
• Follow @APIL on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APIL.