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Additional liabilities for mesothelioma claims survive... for now!

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During the final stages of “ping pong” between the Houses of Lords and Commons yesterday, the issue relating to the recoverability of additional liabilities for industrial diseases or illness was in debate.

The Lords originally insisted that sections 43, 45 and 46 of the Act (which relates to the recoverability of additional liabilities) did not apply to a claim for damages for respiratory disease or illness (whether or not this resulted in death) arising from industrial exposure to harmful substance.

The Commons disagreed, but the Lords insisted. The Commons then proposed that Sections 43 and 45 may not be brought into force in relation to proceedings relating to a claim for damages in respect of diffuse mesothelioma until the Lord Chancellor has carried out a review of the likely effect of those sections in
relation to such proceedings and published a report of the conclusions of that review.I

t would seem that by specifically referring to diffuse mesothelioma, the intention was to exclude claims for localised mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening and lung cancer.

Next stage- Royal Assent.

Those wishing to protect their clients against exposure to additional liabilities will no doubt pay close attention to the review conducted by the Lord Chancellor and will hopefully have an opportunity to provide statistics, facts and opinions.

For advice or more information, contact Nicholas Lee.