Justinian Lane

Asbestos Victims Treated Poorly In England, Too

It seems like politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are more concerned about protecting businesses than caring for the thousands of people who now have cancer because of those businesses.

Backbench MPs are seeking to block controversial plans they believe will prevent victims of asbestos-related diseases suing their employers for damages.

Last week ministers laid an order before Parliament that removes the legal requirement for companies to retain records of liability insurance policies. As a result, thousands of workers affected by long-latent diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma will be unable to trace the insurers of their employers — and bring a claim.

The reason, ministers say, is that the cost of retaining policies is a burden on business and that the law is not effectively enforced by the Health and Safety Executive.

Personal injury lawyers, asbestos victims’ groups and MPs say that the cost to business is small and compliance could be easily enforced through setting up a statutory central database for policies that would ensure retained policies are not lost or misplaced. 

Source: Pleasing employers, letting down victims? - Times Online

It really sickens me every time I hear some "reformer" going on about all the businesses plaintiffs' lawyers have bankrupted when there are still thousands of people dying from mesothelioma. 

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Posted at 2:00 PM, Jul 15, 2008 in Asbestos
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I can't comment on what the Brits are doing but here in the USA it's been the plaintiff bar and the acres of bogus claimants receiving settlements that has stripped away the funds that should rightly be paid to those with Mesothelioma. Too many juries have given money to claimants who "may someday" develope mesothelioma to be able to recount.

In fact, it's the behavior of the trial bar in the asbestos claims that really opened my eyes to what a scum-sucking bunch the personal injury bar is. Prior to that, I had a fairly favorable attitude toward them but seeing the greed and avarice and fraud involved in these claims sickened me, as it should any person of conscience

Posted by: Avenger | July 16, 2008 7:17 PM

Avenger, I agree there has been some fraud in asbestos cases. But the way to fix the fraud isn't to make it harder for real victims to recover, or to limit what they can recover. It's to throw the attorneys who committed fraud in jail and seize their assets.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | July 16, 2008 8:26 PM