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Insight

Government shelves plans for a Mesothelioma Protocol

Courts Minister Shailesh Vara has announced that the Government will not be going ahead with plans to introduce a protocol to control the way that mesothelioma claims must be conducted before court proceedings are permitted.

Earlier this year the Government consulted on a "protocol" that had been put together by the ABI (Association of British Insurers) on behalf of the insurance industry, but this was widely condemned by lawyers and mesothelioma support groups as supporting the interests of the insurance industry at the expense of the mesothelioma sufferers and their families.

In our Response to the consultation we said:

"These proposals strip mesothelioma sufferers of their unimpeded right to issue court proceedings; no other class of litigant suffers such ignominy.

It does this Government no credit to place such proposals before the public for consultation.  They must think again."

You can read the full FFW response to the proposals here.

Andrew Morgan, Partner in Field Fisher Waterhouse's leading Mesothelioma and Asbestos Claims Department says

"It is a relief for mesothelioma sufferers that the Government has listened to the strong criticism of these proposals.  They will now retain the right to bring claims and issue court proceedings, like every other citizen, without first having to leap over insurance industry hurdles."

We welcome the Government's continued efforts to support mesothelioma sufferers through a variety of measures, including the Mesothelioma Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament.  The Mesothelioma Bill proposes that some payments be made to some mesothelioma sufferers even when no insurer can be found.  These proposals are likely to take effect in July 2014.

Click here to read the Minister's statement