McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Mesothelioma Claims - our article in the Irish Post

Amidst the headline grabbing Immigration Bill in the Queens speech was another piece of legislation that will help many Irish people in Britain and back home in Ireland that are suffering from Mesothelioma. This bill is designed to help people who suffer from Mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos. It establishes a payment scheme for those people who cannot trace their employer or their employer's insurance company, where the employer was responsible for the asbestos exposure. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma from 25 July 2012 will be able to make a claim. The bill will be funded by a levy on insurance companies, and it will apply to the whole of the UK.

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or were exposed to airborne asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos increases their risk for developing mesothelioma.

Given its causes it’s not hard to see why the Irish community has been disproportionately afflicted by this debilitating and life threatening condition. The Construction industry (particularly demolition) is one of the main sectors from which those suffering from the condition come and this industry as Irish labour dominated in the UK from 1950s onwards.

The fact that the symptoms or signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos means that the problem has only come to light over the last 10 years or so. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma and this is typically caused by Asbestos exposure. It’s now become clear that even limited exposure many years ago can lead to the condition and its symptoms in later life.

Having been more exposed than most groups as a result of working in the construction sector, the victims then often suffered an inability to claim compensation as a result of not being able to identify the employer who they were working for at the time of the exposure. Understandably in the era of "the lump”, cash payments and transient working patterns it’s easy to see why tracing employers in order to locate their insurance companies has proved a difficult task. This lead to a huge number of men and women left with no way to seek compensation for the terrible suffering that they were put to as a result of doing nothing more than working hard for their families. I am delighted that this new Bill will go some way to righting this wrong. 

Having dealt with a good many claims for those having suffered accidents in the construction industry over the years (especially in the tunnel mining community), I have always been struck by the self-reliance and stoicism of those involved. Whilst I welcome those particular Irish traits in general I think that those that have suffered through no fault of their own should explore the possibility of compensation. If you think that I am promoting a “compensation culture” then you are right. The definition of compensation is: “money, awarded to someone as a recompense for loss, injury, or suffering”. To me it’s promoting a “fairness culture”. It really is the least that a generation of mean and women deserve for building this country.

If you think you may have symptoms or if you have been recently diagnosed with a chest condition such as Mesothelioma and you want to talk to someone about the possibility of making a claim, call Nina Mahaffy on 0161 928 3848 or contact us here

Categories: Personal Injury
Posted by Seth Lovis on
Nice post Andrew, lots of information on Mesothelioma.

A good read.

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