Increased Mesothelioma compensation payouts announced

The Government has announced an increase to compensation payment tariffs available to people suffering from diffuse mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Compensation for mesothelioma sufferers who cannot trace the insurance provider for their former employer has been increased to a maximum of £216,896. Under the previous rules, compensation awards were reduced by 20% in the event that the insurance company could not be traced.

Compensation payouts will still be decided on an age basis with the maximum amounts being awarded to people under 40.

New tariffs

The new tariffs will come into force in March 2015 and will apply for people diagnosed on or after 10th February 2015.

The Mesothelioma Act 2014 established a Government run scheme intended to protect sufferers of asbestos-related illness who could otherwise be left without compensation.

Fewer claims have been made under the scheme than was anticipated. This is partly due to the work of solicitors and the authorities in tracing insurance companies with a duty to settle these claims.

Mesothelioma causes the death of over 2,000 people every year. The Health and Safety Executive reports a steady increase in deaths per year. The HSE anticipate this trend will continue for the next five years, before gradually declining.

The HSE's report, Mesothelioma Mortality in Great Britain by Geographical Area 1981 - 2011, lists areas in the country where the disease is most common. The former shipbuilding centres of Barrow-in-Furness, West Dunbartonshire and North Tyneside are highlighted as areas with the highest Mesothelioma mortality rates.

No matter where or when he exposure to asbestos occurred, the changes in the law will entitle all sufferers, irrespective of their former employer's insurance position, to the same level of compensation.

Anyone affected by this disease can seek the help of a specialist solicitor.

For more information see the full parliamentary document.