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Insight

Mesothelioma Bill - update

The Mesothelioma Bill is due to have its report and third reading in the House of Commons tomorrow (7th January) having been through the committee debates in both the House of Lords and House of Commons. This will be the last stage in the House of Commons before the Bill moves to Royal Assent and passes into law and the last chance to table any amendments.

The Bill provides for a payment scheme for Mesothelioma sufferers unable to claim through the courts because their employer no longer trades and employer's liability insurer cannot be traced. Claimants have to prove their employer was negligent in exposing them to asbestos dust and that their diagnosis post dates 25th July 2012.

The Bill currently allows sufferers to recover compensation via a fund set up by the insurance industry of 75% of the average compensation payments made via the courts. A group of MPs has tabled an amendment to the bill requesting that the minimum payment for Mesothelioma sufferers be raised to 80%.

Having acted for victims of mesothelioma for 30 years we have campaigned to recover full compensation where insurance cannot be traced.

The scheme is long overdue and is to be welcomed.

We support the amendment but believe there is no reason why mesothelioma sufferers should not receive 100% compensation through the scheme.

It is estimated that mesothelioma sufferers have lost £800 million in compensation as a result of untraced insurance as insurance companies have failed to keep proper records: It is high time they paid out in full.