It was announced yesterday that the Government had agreed that mesothelioma victims would be exempt from the new court fees brought in earlier this year.
The Government had decided to impose a 5% levy on all cases valued over £200,000 which would effectively mean the victims or their representatives having to pay £10,000 to commence proceedings.
This was a 600% increase in the previous court fee which many criticised and opposed by senior judiciary, asbestos support groups and lawyers alike. The fees where announced and implemented within 7 weeks and clearly not thought through,
Anyone who has dealt with these cases realises that there is a need to settle these cases quickly and efficiently to ensure the victims have either the comfort of settlement in their lifetime, or a significant interim payment to assist with care and other basic needs in the final months, days and weeks of the victims life.
It was simply uncaring of the Government to assume and suggest that victims should use the lump sum payment from the government under the Workers Compensation Act to fund the litigation when these sums were needed to financially support the victim, his family and care needs etc.
The Lord Chancellor Michael Gove has agreed to exclude from the definition of “disposable capital” compensation awards made to mesothelioma suffered made under the PWCA Scheme and Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme.
Whilst this is but one step towards affording the victims of asbestos related conditions justice, sadly yet again victims with asbestos related lung cancer, asbestosis and diffuse pleural thickening are not afforded the same exemption and they will be subject.
If you have been affected by an asbestos related condition please contact us on freephone 0800 294 3065 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.