The victims of asbestos exposure in the UK have been fighting hard for recompense for a while now, and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers wants them taken care of by calling for action to be taken on a last resort fund to be set up by the Government and the insurance industry.
The Government wrapped up its consultation on the feasibility of such a fund two years ago, a fact that the APIL has begun to say is more than long enough when it comes to providing personal injury compensation for workers suffering from asbestos-related illnesses, such as the aggressive lung cancer known as mesothelioma. The need for such a fund is an urgent one, says Karl Tonks, APIL president, as these injured workers are in dire need of compensation.
Asbestos-related injuries are often quite difficult to be compensated for, as exposure usually occurs many years in the past whilst at work. The intervening time between then and now can result in destroyed or lost insurance records, leaving many retired workers suffering through the final stages of their ailments – mesothelioma is of significant concern due to the terminal nature of the disease, with a nearly 100 per cent mortality rate, and compensation could serve to ease these unfortunate workers as they face their final moments.
It can sometimes the luck of the draw for those who were exposed to asbestos decades previously, as insurers can disappear or shut their doors by the time the need to make a claim arises, Mr Tonks said. However, it’s wrong to penalise these workers simply for outliving their insurance firms, and shouldn’t have had to face nearly certain death for simply showing up for work, the APIL president added.