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.'
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Issued: 8 October, 2010