The Supreme Court handed down a judgment yesterday which will enable families of victims of asbestos exposure to bring their claims.
The 5 Judges confirmed that insurance liability should be set at the time an employee was exposed to asbestos rather than when they subsequently develop symptoms.
Lord Clarke said: "The negligent exposure of an employee to asbestos during the policy (insurance) period has a sufficient causal link with subsequently arising mesothelioma to trigger the insurer's obligation."
This means that insurance companies will not be able to escape liability by turning on the exact wording of their policies and all ‘trigger’ dates will now be the same.
A victim may often not develop symptoms until many years after the exposure to asbestos took place and by this time the company that employed them may well have ceased trading and therefore they were left unable to claim under the old law.
The battle through the court system has taken around 5 years but the outcome is welcomed by many victims and their families as they have a far better chance of recovering compensation following this ruling.
Source – Guardian 28 March 2012