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'Long battle' ends for families of asbestos victims

All I ever prayed for was the right decision. This is the right decision. I am delighted for all those families who have been awaiting this result. My dad worked all his life and was hoping to enjoy retirement before mesothelioma took him away. There was never any question about who was to blame - all this long battle was about was insurers wanting to get out of paying. It is very difficult for us to understand the insurance industry's attitude to dying people, an attitude that the Government is going to make worse.

– Maureen Edwards, daughter of Charles O'Farrell who died in 2003


Union welcomes 'landmark' asbestos ruling

This is a landmark ruling which will affect thousands of victims of asbestos. It is a disgrace that insurance companies went to such lengths to shirk their responsibilities. For callous insurers this means the responsibility holiday is over. Unite fought this case to the highest court to get justice for Charles, his family and all victims of asbestos. Justice for ordinary people and the ability of trade unions to bring these cases won't be possible if the Government succeeds in slamming the door to justice with their legal aid bill.

– Len McCluskey, Unite General Secretary


Lawyer wants 'clarity' on asbestos compensation claims

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."

Supreme Court to rule on asbestos claims

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.

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