Government announces proposals for fund of last resort for mesothelioma sufferers

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The Government has announced proposals to provide a fund of last resort for people with work related mesothelioma cancer where insurers cannot be traced.

The full details scheme are yet to be finalised but have acknowledged that it needs to be done with speed bearing in mind the rapid and aggressive nature of the disease on sufferers. However the Government has confirmed the following broad terms of application of the scheme:

  • the Scheme will only apply to mesothelioma.
  • It will only be open to those diagnosed on or after 25 July 2012.
  • It will only apply to those exposed to asbestos at work and where no insurer can be traced.
  • Awards under the Scheme will be more than current state benefits, but less than current court awards.
  • It will be funded by the insurance industry

The Scheme is limited to those who suffer from mesothelioma not other asbestos related diseases and arguable therefore does not have wide enough application.

Deborah Evans, Chief Executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers says:

"We welcome the fact that those people with mesothelioma who have for so long been denied any compensation through the courts will finally be able to received something. But it is a missed opportunity to provide help for a much wider range of people with very serious asbestos related diseases, and it stops short of providing victims with the full compensation which they need and which they would receive through the Courts. "

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