The government has announced it will legislate to make changes to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to help victims of mesothelioma receive more timely access to compensation.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs or abdomen, which is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.
A recent House of Lords case decided that liability for damages was to be apportioned among those responsible, according to the relative degree of contribution to the chance of the person contracting the disease.
The practical effects of this decision were that claims could take much longer to be concluded. The government decided to reverse the effects of the judgment to enable claimants to claim full compensation from any liable person.
Ed Balls, economic secretary to the Treasury, 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 FSCS is involved.”
Under the proposed changes, negligent employers and their insurers who have already 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 liability is being established.
These changes only relate to the FSCS. The Department for Work and Pensions is currently consulting on wider changes to mesothelioma claims handling more generally.