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July 29, 2013

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Views sought on mesothelioma compensation proposals

Proposals have been announced to speed up legal processes in order to support sufferers of the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

Courts minister Helen Grant has launched a consultation on plans to create an out-of-court process specifically to help settle compensation claims for victims of mesothelioma — a condition that often develops decades after the sufferer has been exposed to asbestos but usually kills within months of diagnosis.

The proposals would be backed by a new online case management system funded by the insurance industry. They would enable victims to settle uncontested claims quickly with the insurers of employers responsible for exposing them to asbestos.

A similar process has been used successfully in recent years to speed up compensation claims for injuries suffered in road accidents.

Ms Grant said: “Mesothelioma is an awful condition, which can destroy lives in a frighteningly short amount of time, and we want to do everything we can to help sufferers and their families.

“The improved out-of-court process will help ensure they can access any compensation they are due as quickly as possible.”

The new system will be used for cases where the victim knows where they were working when they were exposed to asbestos. Other measures to support mesothelioma sufferers who cannot trace the employer (or its insurer) responsible for them being exposed to asbestos are included in the Mesothelioma Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament.

The consultation, which runs until 2 October, can be found at

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