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Call For More Support For Servicemen Exposed To Asbestos

Legal Experts Back Fresh Calls For MoD Loophole To Be Closed


By Rob Dixon

Asbestos-related disease lawyers have welcomed calls from MPs urging the Government to ensure that former servicemen who have developed serious illness following exposure to the deadly material while serving in the forces are able to gain access to justice over such problems.

Labour MP Thomas Docherty and others are calling for ministers to review current plans, designed to help people who have developed mesothelioma secure compensation, to ensure servicemen and women can get more support.

Current rules mean that any armed forces personnel exposed to asbestos before May 1987 are unable to gain compensation from the Ministry of Defence, because of Crown immunity.

Adrian Budgen, national head of asbestos litigation at Irwin Mitchell, specialises in representing people who have developed mesothelioma and other serious conditions as a result of exposure to the deadly material.

Commenting on this issue, he said: “It is truly shocking and frustrating that this issue has still not been rectified after more than 20 years of discussion and debate.

“While it is of course welcome that the Government has attempted to tackle the issue of ensuring mesothelioma victims and their families gain access to justice, the system they have put forward in recent months is clearly limited and leaves many without the means to obtain the support they need.

“People who have served their country deserve to have certainty that they will be looked after if they develop an asbestos-related illness following their time in the forces, so this continuing, apparent ‘loophole’ needs to be urgently reviewed and closed.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Mesothelioma claims