Relatives of workers who died of an asbestos-related cancer have won a fight for compensation. The Supreme Court has ruled that insurance liability was "triggered" at the time mesothelioma victims were exposed to dust.
- Each year around 2,300 people are diagnosed in the UK
- Affects thin membrane that lines the chest and abdomen
- Most common cause is exposure to asbestos
- Rare and has a poor prognosis because it is complicated to diagnose and treat
Specialist solicitor Helen Ashton, who works for law firm Irwin Mitchell, and is representing one of the lead claimants, said she hoped the Supreme Court could "provide clarity".
The litigation concerns the appropriate trigger for employers' liability insurance policies in relation to asbestos-related mesothelioma claims where the wording of the policy requires injury or disease to an employee to be 'sustained' or 'contracted' during the period of insurance.
The case is set to impact on thousands of mesothelioma claims in the future which, given the predicted number of cases to emerge, is estimated to be worth over £100 million to the insurers involved in the litigation."
Thousands of compensation claims by people whose relatives died after developing an asbestos-related cancer could be affected by a Supreme Court ruling today.
Mesothelioma victims' families asked the UK's highest court to clarify the law relating to insurance claims at a hearing in London in December.
Five Supreme Court justices, who were asked to consider whether liability was "triggered" at the time of exposure to asbestos or at the onset of symptoms, will deliver judgment in London.