Mesothelioma: Civil Court Claims

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and, sadly, terminal occupational disease. Approximately 2,200 people currently die in United Kingdom each year from this terrible condition, with sufferers having a median life expectancy of only 7 to 9 months from diagnosis. Despite this, around 50% of claims for compensation for mesothelioma take over 12 months to settle, which means that sufferers may die before their claims are paid out.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the protective lining of the lungs or abdomen. At present, there is no known cure for mesothelioma and sufferers often die within months of diagnosis.

A mesothelioma sufferer may be able to make a claim for damages (compensation) in the civil courts based on the employer’s negligence or breach of statutory duty. Provisions in the Compensation Act 2006 reverse the effect of a decision by the House of Lords in the case of Barker v Corus UK Plc and others. This means that where a mesothelioma sufferer has been negligently exposed to asbestos by more than one employer, and it cannot be established where and when they were exposed to the "fatal" fibre, then, in relevant circumstances, any one employer could be pursued for full compensation. In certain circumstances claimants other than employees are able to bring a successful claim.

This note deals only with civil court claims for mesothelioma. Also contains a separate note on claims for Pleural Plaques is also available. Other notes on asbestos include:

  • Asbestos: damage, control and policy (SN/SC/5913)
  • Mesothelioma Bill RP 13/66

Mesothelioma: Civil Court Claims

Lenguaje: Inglés/English

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