A new deal that could see lawyers snag up to 25 per cent of damages payments to people diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma has been met with vehement anger from an asbestos support group.
Reported by dailyecho.co.uk, the Hampshire Asbestos Support and Awareness Group has been left seething after Government changes to the asbestos compensation system have effectively turned “terminal illness into a competitive market,” claims the group.
The introduction of fixed costs – aimed at streamlining the damages process – would allow insurers to “drag out legal cases”; piling pressure on the terminally ill to agree lower settlements.
In addition, a group of solicitors speaking in evidence to a committee of MPs accused ministers of allowing insurance companies to “call the shots” by striking an “agreement behind closed doors”, reports thenorthernecho.co.uk.
Southampton, Eastleigh, Gosport and Fareham experience high numbers of deaths from mesothelioma due to the docks and railway works in the region and it is possible this change could leave claimants in the South significantly worse off financially.
Lynne Squibb, co-founder of the Hampshire awareness group, was left disappointed by the decision.
She said: “As someone who has a lost a family member to mesothelioma I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to shop around for the best deal.
“The Government has missed the point with this and in trying to improve the claims system they have made it much more difficult. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” she added.