Speeding Up Mesothelioma Claims - FSCS Reform
On 2 November the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ed Balls, announced that the Treasury will legislate to allow the Financial Services Authority to make changes to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to help victims of mesothelioma receive more timely access to compensation.
Ed Balls said:
"Mesothelioma is a disease that has a devastating impact on people's lives. These changes should help victims of this disease receive more timely access to compensation where the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is involved."
Under the proposed changes negligent employers and their insurers, who have paid victims of the disease, will now be able to claim a contribution from the FSCS in certain cases. This should help avoid delay in compensation being paid to claimants while the FSCS' liability is being established.
"Ever since the landmark decision of Fairchild in 2002 there has been a problem with mesothelioma claims that are part-funded by insolvent insurance companies. Until now the problem has been that solvent insurers and employers might be willing to offer proper compensation to mesothelioma claimants but would be afraid to do so before the FSCS agrees to make a contribution. For various reasons the FSCS can take a long time to reach a decision. If the solvent insurer makes a payment in the meantime then it might lose out because until now the FSCS has had no power to make any repayments to the other insurers or employers. This means solvent insurers have delayed settling claims to avoid falling foul of the FSCS rules. With this change in the rules I hope we will see quicker settlements in mesothelioma claims. Certainly this change is supported and welcomed by claimant representatives and insurers alike."
FFW responded to the FSA/Treasury joint consultation in October. The results of the consultation exercise can be found here.
Lawyers at Fieldfisher's Asbestos Claims Department have represented people with asbestos disease claims, including mesothelioma claims, for over 20 years. By August 2006 the Asbestos Claims Department had recovered over £100 million in compensation for over 1,700 clients over the years.