Supreme Court Ruling Could Allow More Asbestos Claims in the United Kingdom

According to an article from CNN London this week, A landmark ruling in the UK Supreme Court has cleared the way for thousands of mesothelioma victims and their families to make insurance claims. The court ruled that the liability for insurers was incurred at the time a worker was exposed to asbestos, rather than at the time when the disease first appeared. The decision overturned an appeals court ruling. The previous ruling meant many families would not have been able to claim compensation.

The court said there was a close link between employment and the exposure that led to the illness. Upholding the appeals court ruling could mean a potential gap in insurance coverage for workers, especially those no longer employed by the same firm.

Lawyer Helen Ashton, who represented a woman in the UK whose father died of asbestos-related disease, said “This long awaited judgment provides clarity, consistency and comfort for mesothelioma victims and their families. This judgment means that the thousands of people with mesothelioma who are yet to be given the devastating news that they have the deadly illness will at least know that their families can get access to justice and receive the financial security they need.”

Asbestos diseases in Britain lead to more than 5,000 deaths each year.