In July 14 we will see the implementation of the long-overdue Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (‘Scheme’) for mesothelioma victims and their families. This has been a long fight for justice by victims, campaigners and politicians. The fight began back in February 2010 when Labour launched the originating consultation. The scheme however excludes all other asbestos related diseases and limits compensation to only 80% of average compensation payments; failing many who have suffered and will continue to suffer because of past negligent exposure to deadly asbestos.
The new regulations make no mention of the levy on the insurance industry. The lack of any regulatory control makes it unlikely that the industry will volunteer a maximum affordable contribution. The industry must make a genuine commitment to the Scheme to ensure that in the future victims receive 100% of compensation, that all asbestos victims receive compensation and to provide for proper investment in medical research.
A further injustice for victims and their families comes with the Government’s decision to apply Sections 44 and 46 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) to mesothelioma cases. This will be implemented in July 2014 to coincide with the new Scheme and will result in putting more money back into the pockets of the insurance industry. The fight for justice is not over and we offer our support to the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK and its members in their challenge of the Government’s decision.