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Government Response to Reforming Mesothelioma Claims Consultation

The Government has published its full response to the Reforming Mesothelioma Claims consultation. Under the new Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme mesothelioma sufferers will be able to claim from an insurance pool if they would have won their compensation claim against an employer but cannot recover because the employer no longer exists and insurance cannot be found. The fund will pay on the basis of age at diagnosis but only applies to those diagnosed after 25th July 2012. Claimants will receive it is thought 80% of average awards if they had proceeded through the courts rather than the 75% that was originally proposed.

The scheme will start accepting applications in April with the first payments under the new scheme expected to start in July. Field Fisher Waterhouse have a number of clients who are waiting to make claims and we will be filing those on the first day possible.

In addition the rules allow for compensation to be increased in those cases which can be pursued through the courts by an average of £7500. This is to offset the Government's decision to shift the burden of paying success fees to lawyers in cases from the losing party to the claimants themselves,

Happily, the Government has decided not to proceed with the insurance industry-led proposal to change the way mesothelioma cases are conducted in the courts. It was accepted following consultation that the proposals would be detrimental to the victims themselves. For further reading please see our response to the consultation here and the Government's press release here.

We will immediately inform all our clients and interested parties when these changes take effect, we hope, in April.

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