Personal injury news

Asbestos ruling with Compensation Bill to see yet another turn

In an on-going battle of wills, the law concerning personal injury compensation for asbestos cases faces yet another change.

A proposal has been announced by Lord Falconer and John Hutton who are preparing to place the asbestos ruling concerning the Compensation Bill back exactly where it was four years ago.

The amendment to the Compensation Bill will essentially stipulate that in cases concerning asbestosis and related diseases such as mesothelioma ‘negligent employers should be jointly and severely liable, so that the claimant can recover full compensation from any relevant employer.’

In addition, it would then be the responsibility of that employer to seek a contribution to the damages that he is ordered to pay from other negligent employers. As is stands, those that have suffered the affects of asbestos have to seek separate claims against each of the employers that are accountable for their condition, often resulting in smaller sums of compensation being awarded.

Lord Falconer and John Hutton are due to put forward the amendment to the Compensation Bill within the next week.

Some have welcomed the amendment, but following an unsuccessful plea for the Government to fund compensation for those suffering asbestos related diseases using taxpayer’s money, the ABI have disputed the amendment. An ABI spokesperson commented, ‘We don’t want the Compensation Bill to be amended’.

Hutton, however, retorted, ‘Changing the Compensation Bill would bring a better chance of compensation for thousands of people who contract mesothelioma because they were exposed to asbestos at work.’


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