Press release

Support for industrial disease victims

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Sufferers of a deadly industrial disease will be the focus of work to improve the compensation claims process for them, new Justice Minister Lord Faulks said today.

Lord Faulks

The Government has responded to its consultation on measures to help victims of mesothelioma - a condition which often develops decades after the sufferer has been exposed to asbestos but usually kills within months of being diagnosed.

Lord Faulks said the Ministry of Justice would work with victims groups and insurers representing employers to explore new ways to improve the legal process for handling claims for compensation from mesothelioma sufferers or their relatives.

Changes to no-win no-fee deals for these kinds of cases will also be implemented this April – meaning less should be spent on legal costs. This will bring mesothelioma claims in line with other personal injury cases.

Justice Minister Lord Faulks said:

This terrible condition can destroy lives in a devastatingly short time and we want to do what we can to help mesothelioma sufferers and their families. We are now working to establish the best way to get claims settled fairly and quickly.

The response, published today, follows the consultation last year on improving the compensation claims process for mesothelioma victims. The consultation and response can be viewed at: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/mesothelioma-claims

The Ministry of Justice announced last year that it would not be taking forward proposals for a new set of rules (called the Mesothelioma Pre Action Protocol (MPAP)) to control out-of-court settlements, in light of views from respondents including victims’ groups.

Other measures to support mesothelioma sufferers, including a £350m fund to compensate those who cannot trace the liable employer, are already being put in place by insurers and the Department for Work and Pensions through the Mesothelioma Act.

Published 6 March 2014