Asbestos death rate for Liverpool highlights need for compensation “safety net”(February 16, 2012)
New statistics show that Liverpool has a death rate for an asbestos related cancer which is above the national average.
Figures obtained by not-for-profit campaign group the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) show that from 2006 to the end of 2010, mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lung wall, was recorded as the underlying cause of 89 deaths in the area.
It is the equivalent to 3.1 deaths in 100,000 people. The national average during the same period was 2.5.
Steve said: “More people die of mesothelioma in Liverpool per head of the population than in most other parts of the country.
“This is bad enough, but the number of men dying from this disease is expected to peak during the next five years and what many people don’t realise is that hundreds of sufferers across the UK cannot get the compensation they need to help them through the last days of their life.
“What is needed is for the Government to bring forward proposals for a fund of last resort which would act as a safety net for injured workers who are otherwise unable to pursue the justice they deserve.”
The Walton MP continued, “This is particularly urgent for people who were exposed to asbestos at work years ago and are now sick and dying.
“Without the safety net of a fund of last resort, sufferers can be left with no other way of obtaining the compensation which should at least give them some comfort in the last days of their life.
"Workers who have developed mesothelioma are sometimes unable to pursue a claim for damages because they can no longer trace the employer who exposed them to asbestos, or the employer’s insurance company.
"This is because the onset of symptoms often comes decades after a worker has inhaled asbestos fibres, during which time employers can go out of business and insurance records can be lost or destroyed.
“The Government proposed to set up a fund of last resort shortly before the general election, but 18 months have now passed and there’s still no fund."
Steve concluded by saying, “This unacceptable situation simply cannot go on. Something must be done before more dying victims of mesothelioma go uncompensated.”