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Supreme Court to rule on asbestos claims

Breathing in asbestos fibres can trigger cancer Photo:

It's a big word for a dreadful disease. Mesothelioma is cancer of the lining between your lungs and your chest wall (or between your intestines and abdominal wall).

Its immensely painful. Every breath is agony. There are treatments but the cancer nearly always wins. It's caused by asbestos. Breathing in just a few fibres, forty years ago, can trigger the cancer.

Today, four insurance companies will find out whether they have to pay compensation for mesothelioma to people who used to work for the companies they insured, sometimes many years ago (many have gone bust).

They say they should only pay up when victims were working for those companies WHEN the cancer started. But this is a cancer that can start 40 years after exposure to asbestos.

If they win, thousands of patients with this horrid cancer(or their families who watched them die) will get nothing.

It's estimated around 6000 families are waiting for this ruling. Money can't compensate for the suffering mesothelioma causes. But it can ease the pain - a little.