Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Victims' Cut-Price Compensation Deal Causes Upset

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Victims' Cut-Price Compensation Deal Causes Upset

Article excerpt

Byline: Adrian Pearson Regional affairs correspondent

WORKERS handed a mesothelioma death sentence will only get part of their compensation after the Government rejected a last-ditch plea. A new compensation Bill offering help for those diagnosed with the asbestos-related cancer cleared the Commons and is now likely to become law within months.

It will see those who cannot find a former employer to sue handed a Government-ordered payout from insurance firms.

But, as Tyneside MPs told ministers this week, the Bill offers just 75% compensation despite all sides admitting those with the condition are 100% innocent.

MPs such as Wansbeck's Ian Lavery and Newcastle East's Nick Brown said the Government appeared to have backed down from giving a full payout as a result of pressure from major insurance firms.

Another blow comes in a strict cut off date, which sees claims from before July 25, 2012, rejected in order to keep costs down.

Mr Lavery said: "When someone with mesothelioma who is soon to pass on comes to one of our surgeries and we explain that the insurance companies have only to pay 75% compensation, I wonder what their reaction will be.

"It is not fair, it is not just, and it is not acceptable. Wherever there is 100% liability, there should be 100% payment."

Mr Lavery was among many claiming the insurance companies who will cover the payouts had successfully argued for tighter conditions and would thus make a profit at the loss of others.

He said: "Lloyd's made PS2.7bn between January and June 2012. Royal and Sun Alliance made PS233m last year. Aviva, between January and June 2013, made PS605m. That is just three companies. They are awash with finance.

"The regulatory impact assessment estimated that approximately 6,000 mesothelioma sufferers lost about PS800m in compensation due to untraced insurance. …

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