Government shows real compassion, but must act for all victims, lawyers say20 June 2006
welcomed the announcement
Thompsons Solicitors, one of the law firms at the heart of the Barker asbestos test case, today welcomed the announcement that the government will amend the Compensation Bill to reverse the effect of the House of Lords ruling in the asbestos compensation appeal case of Barker.
Ian McFall, national head of asbestos litigation at Thompsons Solicitors said:
"The government has shown a real compassion and a commitment to sufferers. This is exactly what we have been urging it to do. We said we wanted clear, swift and decisive action to reverse the impact of Barker. This amendment will restore the right to full compensation and benefit thousands of mesothelioma sufferers and their families. It is vital that this amendment becomes effective without delay ."
But because there are some mesothelioma sufferers and their widows whose compensation claims will be decided by the courts in the near future, McFall stressed that the amendment must also cover those claims.
"We have cases due for hearing within days which could result in claimants losing up to 90% of what they would receive after this amendment takes effect. The amendment must apply to all cases including those where the final outcome has not yet been decided by the court. If it fails to do that it will simply create another injustice for a uniquely disadvantaged group of victims who happen to have the misfortune of their case being concluded before the change announced today takes effect. We could end up representing clients on the same day who have developed the same illness caused by the same employers but one would recover full compensation and the other would not simply because they brought their claims at different times. The government must ensure that the amendment is worded carefully to avoid that happening".
Thompsons Solicitors acted for Mrs Mary Murray in the test case known as Barker, brought by employers to end full compensation for the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
This story has been covered by icCheshireOnline. To read their full story visit "Change in Law brings hope to cancer victims".
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