With November being designated Lung Cancer Awareness month, much has been written in recent weeks about the damaging effects of exposure to asbestos. Usually related to lung disease but with an extremely long lead time between exposure and symptoms appearing.
The courts have long recognised the failings of employers to protect their work forces adequately from such exposure, even if the knowledge of the potential problem was limited all those years ago. Many families have since been awarded financial support to assist with the health care of members afflicted by lung diseases as a result of exposure to asbestos.
Two recent events have brought more opportunity for families to gain support.
The first has been referred to on this web site before and relates to cases of mesothelioma resulting from the activities of businesses which no longer exist. In such cases where the one time employer’s insurance company also no longer exists the government has developed a scheme to assist families in particular circumstances. Gotelee lawyers are familiar with which cases are covered and which are not; every case has its own facts so consulting James Davies at Gotelee is the first step.
A second court decision in recent days has significant implications and in essence ruled there to be no difference between an employee being exposed to asbestos and anyone else legitimately in a work place and thereby exposed to the substance. The owner of the site is responsible for the safety of all on site whether or not an employee. This ruling increases substantially the numbers of individuals and families who may be entitled to make a claim for financial support for health care and loss of earnings against employers and their insurers. A major change in favour of those contracting lung disease as a result of exposure by default to asbestos. James Davies and Tim Humpage at Gotelee are acknowledged experts in this field. If you think you need advice in this area, call them on 01473 298125 or email[email protected].