Lord Alton of Liverpool has shown his support for asbestos claimants, suggesting amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO Bill) that is currently being considered by the House of Lords.

Lord Alton argues ‘Asbestos victims should not, and financially cannot, subsidise other claimants’ access to justice’

Arguing that terminally ill asbestos victims who succeed in a claim for compensation employers will have to pay 25 per cent of their compensation in legal costs, Lord Alton condemns the Government’s argument that this will deter frivolous and fraudulent claims, and will drive legal costs down by making terminally ill mesothelioma victims shop around for the best “deal”.

‘Asbestos victims should not, and financially cannot, subsidise other claimants’ access to justice, nor can they afford to defend test cases run by rich insurers.’

He has the support of a further 18 peers who have signed a letter calling for support to amendments to protect asbestos victims from a gross injustice.

The Bill was introduced after the Jackson report suggesting reform of Civil Litigation in the UK.  The Bill, if passed, will save the insurance industry more than £2.25billion and will put off victims of asbestos diseases from claiming.

See Lord Alton’s letter at

http://davidalton.net/2012/03/02/mesothelioma-battle-raised-in-parliament-see-also-daily-mirror-campaign/

http://www.epolitix.com/latestnews/article-detail/newsarticle/government-scapegoating-terminally-ill-asbestos-victims/

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/letters/article3338610.ece

Lord Alton is a Crossbench Life Peer. He began his career as a teacher but, in 1972, he was elected to Liverpool City Council as Britain’s youngest City Councillor. He became the youngest member of the House of Commons in 1979 and, in 1997, David was made a Life Peer of the House of Lords.  He famously has written report on human rights following visits to places like Burma, North Korea, Congo, Sudan and Darfur.