The Mesothelioma (Amendment) Bill has been launched to fund medical research into the asbestos cancer of mesothelioma.If the Bill becomes Law it would change the Mesothelioma Act 2014 and compelThe Mesothelioma (Amendment) Bill has been launched to fund medical research into the asbestos cancer of mesothelioma.
If the Bill becomes Law it would change the Mesothelioma Act 2014 and compel active insurance companies to pay into a fund for medical research into this devastating asbestos disease.
The Mesothelioma Act already requires active insurers to fund the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS) which makes payments to certain mesothelioma sufferers who have good claims but who cannot obtain compensation because their employer has no assets and its insurers cannot be found. It is estimated the active insurers will have to pay about £350M over the first 10 years of the scheme's life. The research levy would be capped at 1% of the total levy, so about £3.5M over 10 years, which is to be funnelled into funding clinical research into the treatment of mesothelioma.
The Bill is a private members bill which has been introduced by Lord Alton, who is a tireless campaigner on behalf of sufferers of mesothelioma. He introduced a similar Bill in 2014 but this fell short of becoming law by just 7 votes.
Andrew Morgan, Asbestos partner at Fieldfisher says:
"The insurance industry has benefitted over the years from inadequate record keeping by themselves and their insureds: there is no real doubt that some people have gone uncompensated not because there was no insurance in place but simply because the records could not be found. The Mesothelioma Act goes some way to addressing that but it applies only to people who develop mesothelioma as a result of exposure at work. It does not cover asbestos-related lung cancer or other industrial diseases. It does not cover exposure that occurred outside work.
But this proposal will give some hope to everyone who is at risk of developing mesothelioma. It would provide an injection of substantial new funds at a moment when medical research into this disease is beginning to take huge strides in new directions and is very much to be welcomed"
We recently wrote about changes to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments scheme.
We also recently wrote about a recent breakthrough in clinical treatment of mesothelioma.