This morning a judgement was handed down in the ‘Trigger Litigation’ that requires insurance companies who provided insurance during the time the sufferers of asbestos cancer, Mesothelioma, were employed will have to pay compensation.

The Trigger Litigation involves complex legal arguments about whether or not policies taken out by companies to insure themselves against the risk of being negligent towards their employees cover Mesothelioma.

The majority of insurance companies who provided employer liability insurance during the time the employee was exposed to asbestos dust at work will pay compensation to the cancer victim.  However, 4 insolvent insurance companies decided that due to the standard words used in their policies the claims were not covered, and so they would not pay compensation

The insurance companies argued the policy in place 5-10 years before the mesothelioma tumour developed was the correct policy to claim against. This time period is when the body’s natural defences begin to fail to protect from the changes in cells that cause the cancer to develop.

Due to the long time between breathing in the dust and the development of noticeable symptoms of cancer many companies will have gone out of business so would not have any insurance in place, therefore the mesothelioma sufferer would not be able to claim on any insurance policy and would not receive compensation.

However in the decision handed down this morning the Supreme Court did not agree with this attempt to wriggle out of responsibility on a technicality.  As if often the case, insurance companies are very keen to take payment from employers for these policies, but not so quick to pay out when a claim is made.

This decision is favourable to Asbestos Cancer Sufferers and a victory for justice.