date: 8 October 2010
embargo: For immediate release
The TUC expressed grave concern at the continued uncertainty now faced by hundreds of people dying from asbestos exposure following a decision in the Court of Appeal today (Friday) over compensation payments.
Mesothelioma sufferers will now have to wait while the case over their compensation entitlement is referred to the Supreme Court.
Back in 2008 the High Court ruled that employers' insurers at the time of exposure to asbestos were liable to pay out on claims for mesothelioma. The insurance companies' appeal was decided on at the Court of Appeal today.
The TUC is concerned that any decision which allows insurers not to pay compensation to people who were exposed, even where there was an insurance policy in place, not only undermines the whole principle of compulsory employers' liability insurance, but also denies thousands of people, and their dependants, justice.
Commenting on the ruling TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Over the years insurance companies have done all they can to avoid paying asbestos victims the compensation they are entitled to. They were more than willing to take the premiums when the victims were working, but only too happy to rush to court when claims are made.
'This is the real compensation culture we face in this country. A culture where people can be killed as a result of their employer's negligence and then be denied the compensation they are entitled to.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Register for the TUC's press extranet: a service exclusive to journalists wanting to access pre-embargo releases and reports from the TUC. Visit www.tuc.org.uk/pressextranet
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: email@example.com
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued: 8 October, 2010