The asbestos trigger case victory in the Supreme Court 28th March 2012
The ruling means insurance liability and damage begins when workers are exposed to asbestos – not when cancers develop many years later.
- the case goes back to 2006
- 6,000 families are involved all have someone who has died or is suffering from mesothelioma
- payouts to these victims could be £600m
- up to 25,000 future claims, and compensation of £5bn, also are at stake
- the insurers in the case are: MMI, Builders Accident, Excess and the Independent Insurance Company
- they said an employer’s liability was restricted to when the cancerous tumours started to develop, instead of when victims were exposed to the dust
- many building firms from the 1960s and 1970s no longer exist & if claims cannot be made against their insurers from that period – the victims don’t get anycompensation
- most insurers, including the Association of British Insurers, distanced themselves from the case
- compensation payments for mesothelioma are usually in the region of £200,000
- from 1967 until 2006, insurers had been paying out routinely on cases such as these.
- It is called the Trigger case, because the argument has been about claiming from the insurer at the time of the exposure which ‘triggers’ a cancer or when the disease is detected.
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