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Disease: Mesothelioma Bill now published

A Bill, which will apply to the whole of the UK, to establish a diffuse mesothelioma payments scheme has now been published.

Bill now published

A Bill, which will apply to the whole of the UK, to establish a diffuse mesothelioma payments scheme and make related provision, and to make provision about the resolution of certain insurance disputes has now been published.

Members of the Lords debated the key principles and purpose of the Mesothelioma Bill during its second reading on 20th May. Lord Freud (Conservative), parliamentary under-secretary of state for the DWP, opened the debate outlining the government's reasons for introducing the bill - to provide compensation for sufferers of mesothelioma by setting up a lump-sum payment scheme funded by insurers. Lord McKenzie of Luton (Labour) expressed the opposition's strong support for the principles of the bill but had concerns about the low level of compensation, the coverage (not all asbestos-related diseases are covered), the July 2012 cut-off date and the insurance industry running the scheme. Broad support also came from the Liberal Democrat benches. Lord German (Liberal Democrat) set out areas where he felt the debate would turn to at later stages: Parliament's monitoring of the scheme, the issues that informed the July 2012 start date, the payment level and legal issues such as the evidence required to make claims.

Detailed discussion of the bill will start in committee stage on 5 June.

Key elements of the Bill:

A scheme of last resort funded by a levy on the UK Employers‟ Liability market to correct a market failure where insurers failed to keep adequate records of Employers‟ Liability insurance during historic times when exposures to asbestos were taking place.

  • payment of the levy to be compulsory for all currently active employers‟ liability insurers.

  • anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma from 25 July 2012 can make a claim.

a Technical Committee to decide disputes about whether a particular employer maintained insurance at the time of the person’s exposure to asbestos, and provides for those decisions to be binding.

For further information please contact:

Fiona James, Director, Professional Support Lawyer on 0191 233 5220 or at fiona.james@dwf.co.uk

Alex Fusco, Associate, Professional Support Lawyer on 0161 603 5211or at alex.fusco@dwf.co.uk

Mesothelioma bill

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

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