Swindon solicitor, Brigitte Chandler has welcomed a decision which means people dying from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, will not have to pay legal fees out of damages they have been awarded.
The High Court has ruled that such a move would have been unlawful. The Asbestos Victims’ Support Groups Forum UK had brought the action against the Government who wanted to allow 25 per cent of damages awarded to mesothelioma sufferers to be used to pay legal insurance premiums and costs. These costs had previously been paid by the defendant’s insurers.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
Brigitte Chandler, one of the UK’s leading specialists in asbestos litigation and a partner with Swindon law firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall described the Government plan as unfair and a move designed purely for the benefit of the insurance industry.
“Under the Legal Aid and Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act they were supposed to carry out a formal review,” she said. “But they failed to do so and just tried to change the law.” The High Court has declared it unlawful.
“It is obviously good news for mesothelioma victims as it means a continuation of the recovery of success fees and insurance premiums in the foreseeable future.”
In 2013, there was a shift in the legal system and the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) moved the responsibility of legal costs from the losing party – for mesothelioma cases this meant invariably the employers’ insurance company – to the person making the claim.
However, people with mesothelioma were exempt from the new rules until there was a full review of the implications for this group of claimants.
“This will lift the burden of fear from thousands of mesothelioma sufferers,” said Brigitte Chandler. “People ask about legal action because they want to look after their families after they’ve died, but they’re scared by the legal fees. Now they know it won’t cost them anything.”
For further information contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793 511055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Last 5 posts by Brigitte Chandler
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- Former Swindon Pressed Steel Worker Wins Asbestos Court Case - July 26th, 2016
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- Supreme Court Rejects Illogical Precedent on Death Payments - March 16th, 2016