Swindon solicitor, Brigitte Chandler has welcomed the temporary reprieve given to mesothelioma victims which means they will not have to pay insurance premiums or success fees out of any damages they are awarded as a result of their exposure to asbestos.
However the reprieve is only in place until the autumn and is now subject to a judicial review. Brigitte Chandler, an expert in industrial disease law and mesothelioma cases specifically, said the insurance premiums can cost clients up to £6,500.
“It is clearly unfair they should have to pay this out of money they have been awarded to cover their loss of income,” she said. “In the past, insurance companies have always paid these costs and there is no reason why this should not continue.”
Swindon has been particularly badly affected by mesothelioma cases because of the large amounts of asbestos used in the railway industry – Swindon’s largest employer until the late 1980s. Asbestos disease can take decades to emerge and the number of claimants in the town continues to rise.
Mesothelioma claimants had been due to pay their own insurance costs from 1 July but this has been delayed. During a parliamentary debate in the House of Commons last week, Andy McDonald, a Labour MP for Middlesbrough, accused the Government of coming to a secret agreement with the Association of British Insurers over payment of these insurance premiums. This has been denied by the Government.
Meanwhile, Swindon MP, Robert Buckland, has asked the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made to speed up obtaining Inland Revenue employment records for asbestos claimants. At the moment, the Inland Revenue will not release these.
Swindon and South West Asbestos Group is a regional charity formed about 11 years ago, providing information and support groups for asbestos sufferers and their families.
For further information contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793 511055 or email@example.com
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