On 30 January 2013, the Mesothelioma Bill received Royal Assent and is now known as the Mesothelioma Act 2014, seeking to provide compensation to those victims who have been exposed to asbestos dust.
The Mesothelioma Act 2014 seeks to provide compensation to those victims of mesothelioma who are unable to trace the employer who exposed them to asbestos dust, or their employer’s liability insurers.
Mesothelioma, which can take up to 50 years to present symptoms after exposure, has resulted in over 300 people a year struggling to find a relevant party to sue for damages, because companies become insolvent or insurance records go missing.
Passed in January, the Mesothelioma Act allows for the creation of a new package of support – funded by insurance firms – to pay in excess of 800 eligible people in 2014 and 300 every year after that, until 2024.
Around 3,500 victims of the aggressive cancer or their families were apply to for compensation from and receive a payment of around £123,000 as part of a £380 million package.
Work and Pensions Minister, Mike Penning has previously said the following:
“This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families – who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 125 million people around the world are exposed to asbestos in the workplace annually.
Despite the fact that health concerns have prompted more than 50 countries to restrict or ban the use of asbestos since the early 1970s, others continue to mine and consume the toxic mineral in worrying quantities. Supported for many years by aggressive industry campaigns, the popularity of asbestos is currently increasing in developing nations where the demand for affordable, mass-produced building materials are high.
The trade, application and supply of crocidolite and amosite asbestos has been prohibited in the UK since the 1980s.