Mesothelioma sufferers given boost by supreme court

Mesothelioma sufferers and their families should derive some satisfaction from the judgment given by the Supreme Court in the case of Durham –v- BAI. In the judgment given on the 28th March 2012, the Supreme Court in effect confirmed the long held view that insurance liability, that is to say liability on insurers to pay damages in mesothelioma cases fell on the insurers insuring the Defendants at the time the Claimant was exposed to Asbestos, not when symptoms first became apparent years later.There can be an interval in excess of 40 years, sometimes more between exposure to Asbestos and manifestation of the actual disease.Had the Court taken a different view, one could foresee that there would be cases where although there might have been insurers of Defendants at the time of exposure, there would be none when the disease was diagnosed because for instance the Defendant had long since ceased to trade or gone into liquidation and therefore no insurers would exist.To their credit, the Association of British Insurers had always been opposed to the 4 Insurers who were arguing the Insurance position.Finally, after 6 years from the date the claims were brought and as the result of a decision by the highest appeal Court in the land for this type of case, the position as to Insurance Liability in mesothelioma cases has been confirmed.Unfortunately, victims of Mesothelioma, even with the benefit of this decision will sometimes find it difficult to find their former employers insurance records, leaving them unable to pursue the compensation claim for Mesothelioma for lack of a paying party.  Those workers who suffer from the disease, but who are unable to make a claim against an insurance company, may receive a small measure of compensation.  Victims in that position have been waiting for nearly 2 years for the government to take action in setting up an insurance fund of last resort to deal with such cases.  Although the case of Durham –v- BAI will give welcome confirmation of the insurance position to Mesothelioma sufferers and their families, it would be helpful if the government agreed with the insurers to set up a fund of last resort so that anyone afflicted by this terrible disease can be given reasonable and fair compensation in the event that Insurers cannot be found.For further information and to begin your claim please e-mail John Messham or telephone him on 01752 292209

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