MPs have vowed to help a group of mesothelioma sufferers and their families fight for fairer compensation for bereavement27 March 2008
Amend the Law on Asbestos Compensation
MPs sitting on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health, Sub Committee on Asbestos made the promise after watching a short film with a hard-hitting message calling on the Government to amend the law on asbestos compensation.
During the film the North East Mesothelioma Self Help Group called for bereavement compensation paid to families of mesothelioma victims in England and Wales to be increased in line with payments currently made in Scotland. Mesothelioma is the fatal cancer of the lining of the lung caused by asbestos exposure.
The group is backing Thompsons Solicitors' campaign, Justice for Asbestos Families.
The Justice for Asbestos Families campaign highlights unfairness in the way compensation for bereavement is awarded to families who have lost a relative to mesothelioma.
Families in England and Wales receive tens of thousands of pounds less in compensation than their counterparts in Scotland.
Mesothelioma has Devastated their Lives
The film, which features mesothelioma sufferers as well as those who have lost family members to the disease, shows the full extent of the suffering and grief of those affected.
They talk frankly about how mesothelioma has devastated their lives.
The film has been posted on Youtube and has been viewed more than 200 times. It was shown at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Occupational Safety and Health, Sub Committee on Asbestos, chaired by Barnsley West and Penistone MP, Michael Clapham,
Members of the Mesothelioma Self Help Group, set up by Wallsend asbestos widow Chris Knighton said MPs at the meeting vowed to put pressure on the Government.
Chris said: “The film really caught the attention of the MPs and brought home to them how the difference in compensation in England and Wales compared to Scotland affects people.
“Our members feel very strongly about this injustice. This issue affects every one of us and hundreds more across the North East alone. Why should the grief and sorrow of families in England and Wales be treated any differently to our neighbours in Scotland?
“We are pleased the MPs are now going to write to the Ministry of Justice and we hope as a result we will see a change in the law.”
Head of Asbestos Policy
Thompsons Solicitors head of asbestos policy, Ian McFall said: “This campaign is intended to benefit families affected by mesothelioma, like those in North East Mesothelioma Self Help Group.
“£10,000 is a derisory sum for the grief caused by the death of a close family member. Whole families suffer terribly when they lose a loved one to mesothelioma. They carry the emotional burden with them the rest of their lives.”
Hundreds of supporters have already signed an online petition supporting the campaign.
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.