A parliamentary investigation has found that insurers were given preferential treatment when steps were taken to set up a Mesothelioma compensation scheme designed to help families of those killed by exposure to asbestos.The Justice Select Committee was able to reveal that the Government had made a secret pact with the insurance lobby before they had decided how much compensation should be paid out to victims and their families. Due to the time lag between exposure to asbestos and developing mesothelioma, which is usually around 30 to 40 years, it has often proved exceedingly difficult to track down the insurer of an employer to get the compensation required. The scheme is designed to cater for those situations where an insurer cannot be traced when mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Currently under the rules of the scheme, claimants will receive 80% of the average settlement. You can read our guide to the scheme here, plus we have also published a guide on the lump sum payments here.
Dushal Mehta, Senior Associate with the Mesothelioma Claims team at Fieldfisher says: "This investigation confirms what many victims, support groups and Claimant lawyers have suspected for some time. There was a lack of transparency from the very outset with little input from any other interested party. The government made up their mind as to how the scheme was to work and the level of payments to be made at a very early stage. They (and the insurance industry) failed to take on board the concerns and issues raised by and on behalf of the victims of this terrible disease. We hope that the government will now do the right thing and disclose the document to the inquiry and other interested parties."