Supreme Court Ruling for Claiming Mesothelioma
By Kathy Cooke. 23rd May 2012
A landmark ruling by a panel of the Supreme Court, the UK’s highest court, provides clarity and consistency for families of thousands of mesothelioma victims claiming compensation after their relatives died from asbestos exposure in the workplace.
An employee who has been exposed to asbestos in the work place may go on to develop mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases later on in their life, sometimes up to 30 – 40 years after they were first exposed to asbestos fibres.
Previously there has been confusion as to when the insurance liability begins – when the person was originally exposed to the asbestos fibres or when the disease developed. In some compensation cases different insurance companies were on cover for the employee at these times due to the long latent period before asbestos related diseases manifest themselves.
The new ruling clarifies that it is the insurer on cover when the claimant was exposed to asbestos that should pay the claim, rather than the insurer on cover when the mesothelioma develops which is often years later.
Relief for Thousands of Mesothelioma Victims
This legal battle has been running for more than five years – in 2008 the High Court deemed that the insurers on cover at time of asbestos exposure were liable but 2 years later the Court of Appeal deemed liability in some cases to be when symptoms of the asbestos related disease developed. This led to confusion and uncertainty for many claimants.
Yesterday’s landmark ruling should provide much needed relief for thousands of mesothelioma victims and their families whose mesothelioma claims may have been on hold pending the outcome of this landmark case.
If you or a family member have been exposed to asbestos fibres in the workplace and have subsequently developed mesothelioma you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Contact our specialists who will be able to provide expert advice on the claims process.
Kathy Cooke MA. BSc(Hons)
Cancer consultant and advisor
Kathy has worked in the cancer field for over 30 years. She was course leader for the MSc in Radiotherapy and Oncology at University of Hertfordshire. Then radiotherapy manager at the Cromwell Hospital in London and Partnership Quality Lead for Macmillan Cancer Support.. Read more >