Leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell today welcomed the announcement by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton, that a Mesothelioma victim will be given top priority in forthcoming legislation. However the firm, who represent hundreds of victims and their families, urged him to ensure that Mesothelioma victims receive full compensation in addition to a fast resolution of their claims.
Irwin Mitchells response was in light of the recent ruling from the House of Lords (Barker v Corus (UK) PLC and others) which deprives victims of mesothelioma obtaining full compensation through the courts unless they can sue all of their former employers who exposed them to asbestos. John Hutton MP last night condemned the Law Lords ruling by saying the law lords have got it wrong when talking about the ruling which he also described as raising major issues of policy and fairness.
Expert mesothelioma solicitor
Adrian Budgen, Head of the Asbestos Diseases Litigation Unit and expert mesothelioma solicitor at Irwin Mitchell said Whilst speed is the main consideration in view of the extremely rapid nature of this terrible disease, it is not the only issue. No matter how fast claimants receive inadequate levels of compensation; it is still inadequate. This House of Lords judgement, if allowed to stand, provides a windfall for employers and their liability insurers at the expense of innocent victims.
He continued We are, however, very pleased with the indications from Mr Hutton that the Government is actively considering legislative change to overcome this widely condemned ruling and putting the needs of Mesothelioma victims so high on the agenda.
We look to the Department of Constitutional Affairs for swift confirmation that the Government will step in to protect the rights of Mesothelioma victims and their families by adding a special clause to the Compensation Bill, before the summer recess, the effect of which will be to reverse the House of Lords ruling in Barker.
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