The men, who worked for Cape Darlington Ltd, formerly known as Darlington Insulation Company Limited, have been awarded more than £200,000 in compensation after developing asbestos-related diseases caused through working for the firm.
But they may never see a penny of compensation after Cape Darlington went into liquidation.
The company, originally founded in Darlington in 1948, carried out asbestos contract work across the UK.
When an employer goes into liquidation the company's insurers normally pay compensation claims. But one of Cape Darlington's insurers, Chester Street Insurance, are also in liquidation. Usually in these circumstances the government's Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) will step in.
However, in this case the FSCS will not pay because of a dispute between the parent company, Cape Plc, and William Baird Industrial Limited who sold Darlington Insulation to Cape Plc in 1992.
In the past Cape Darlington's asbestos victims received compensation from William Baird as part of the sale agreement with Cape Plc.
But William Baird say the £8.25 million limit on the amount of compensation they agreed to pay has been reached. FSCS refuse to pay the claims until the dispute is resolved between Cape Plc and William Baird.
Cape Plc had an operating profit of £14.6m in 2006.
personal injury claims lawyers Thompsons Solicitors, which has offices in Middlesbrough and Newcastle, represents four of the claimants.
However, thousands of people worked for Cape Darlington over the years and there are fears that more people will be affected in the future if this stalemate continues.
Head of Asbestos Policy
Head of asbestos policy at Thompsons Solicitors, Ian McFall, said: "These men are suffering from asbestos-related diseases caused by working for Cape Darlington. Some of them are dying. We have won compensation for them through the courts but they face no prospect of receiving it at present because of this deadlock.
"These companies and the FSCS should act now by paying the compensation without delay and sort out the bureaucratic red tape later."
Asbestos disease diagnosis? Talk to us for advice and support on how to secure compensation.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we can support you with advice on how to make a claim.
The process will be explained in plain English and with no obligation – our priority is to provide you with the best, expert advice on whether you have a valid case for compensation, and to signpost you to further sources of support.
There are strict time limits applied to making a claim – usually three years from the date of diagnosis. It doesn’t matter if the exposure to asbestos took place – as it often does – decades ago, the three year time limit applies to the date of knowledge of diagnosis or date of death.
For further information, visit our How to Make A Compensation Claim page.