A recent UK Supreme Court decision has brought clarity for thousands of families of people who were exposed to Asbestos and subsequently died from the asbestos related illness mesothelioma.
The six year battle has focused upon whether insurers who provided employer’s liability insurance cover at the time the Claimant’s were exposed to asbestos should pay compensation to the victim’s families, even though the Claimant didn’t develop any symptoms of illness until many years after the relevant policy had expired.
The Supreme Court has now ruled that the disease can be said to have been “sustained” by an employee in the period when it was caused or initiated and therefore insurance liability is placed when the Claimant inhaled asbestos fibres and not when the symptoms appeared.
One of the judges, Lord Clarke, said: “The negligent exposure of an employee to asbestos during the [insurance] policy period has a sufficient causal link with subsequently arising mesothelioma to trigger the insurer’s obligation.”
The new ruling is likely to affect thousands of others and will not only apply to those who already have asbestos related illness but also the thousands who will sadly be diagnosed in the future. The decision will mean that Claimant’s can now make claims on insurance policies dating as far back as the 1940’s.