In a victory for meosthelioma victims and their families, the government’s plans to deduct legal fees from the compensation awarded to people dying of exposure to asbestos, have been labelled as unlawful by the High Court. This ruling ensures families will still be entitled to 100% of their asbestosis compensation claims.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling was lobbying in conjunction with the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) for the shift in the legal system that would see the responsibility of legal costs moved to those claiming for mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer caused by asbestos.
The Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK sought a judicial review against the controversial government plans. The High Court declared the proposed attempts to deduct legal costs from claimant’s compensation as unlawful because a proper review of the consequences of such changes was not undertook.
The proposed changes were seen by many as a scaremongering effort aimed at families and sufferers in an attempt to instil the fear that a mesothelioma compensation claim would be extremely costly for those wanting to claim.
The ruling means that the changes cannot be implemented without a comprehensive review.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleural lining of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos. As many as 2000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year, and numbers are set to increase over the next 30 years.
Natasha Ulph, a serious injury lawyer from Freeclaim Solicitors, believes the proposals were intended to reverse the possible increase in asbestos compensation claims; “There’s no doubt that the government proposals were an attempt to try and cull the amount of new asbestos compensation claims. Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that destroys lives, often within nine months of diagnosis, and although a compensation claim is not a cure, it is a way for victims to provide for their families in the future.”
Freeclaim solicitors have specialist lawyers with a track record of success in these difficult claims. For more information on mesothelioma and asbestosis claims, Freeclaim Solicitors free on 0800 612 7340. All enquiries are confidential with no obligation.