A group of Labour MPs have called for parts of the Mesothelioma Bill to be withdrawn claiming half of asbestos-related victims will be ineligible for compensation.
The bill, outlined in the Queen’s Speech last month, aims to create a payment scheme for mesothelioma suffers who cannot trace the company where they were exposed to the asbestos.
Around 3,500 people are currently not liable for compensation because the disease takes many years to develop, meaning the companies who exposed them may no longer exist.
But only those diagnosed after July 25, 2012, will be eligible to claim.
Jim Sheridan MP, David Crausby MP, Ronnie Campbell MP, Sir Alan Meale MP, Graheme Morris MP and Ian Lavery MP have signed an early day motion calling for a change to the percentage of asbestos victims, victims of asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural thickening who will be eligible to seek compensation.
The MPs said only 50% of those affected would be able to secure compensation through the scheme.
In a statement, the MPs said: “We believe such a decision is unacceptable, untenable, unjustifiable and arbitrary and we call for this element of the Bill to be withdrawn forthwith.”
Introducing the Mesothelioma Bill, the Queen’s Speech said: “Legislation will be introduced to ensure sufferers of a certain asbestos-related cancer receive payments where no liable employer or insurer can be traced.”
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of internal organs and kills more than 1,800 people in the UK every year.
It is estimated that 300 people a year receive no civil compensation because their employer’s insurer cannot be traced.
Asbestos is the most common cause of the disease. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma will have been exposed to the mineral at some point in their life.
If you have been affected by asbestos-related illness call PM Law solicitors in Sheffield on 0114 296 5444 or click here