New figures have revealed that over £84 million has been awarded in compensation to claimants or their families under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS).
Diffuse mesothelioma is a cancer linked to asbestos exposure. It is usually fatal, and most patients die within 12 months of their diagnosis. In 2014, the disease caused the death of 2,515 people in Great Britain, according to Health and Safety Executive figures.
Those most at risk of developing mesothelioma include men who worked in the building industry when asbestos was used extensively. Symptoms vary and it can take up to 20 to 40 years after exposure for symptoms that allow doctors to diagnose the disease to appear.
The DMPS is a scheme of last resort for people with the disease who were negligently exposed to asbestos at work, but who are unable to trace their employer or their employer’s insurer to seek compensation.
The average lump sum payment made through the scheme in the six months between April and September 2016 was around £141,000, up from £135,000 in 2015/16. The scheme is funded by a levy on the Employers’ Liability Compulsory Insurance industry, set this year at £40.4 million.
“It is absolutely right that the Government steps in to help people who cannot get the compensation they deserve from their former employers,” commented Penny Mordaunt, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work. “I want to ensure all who might benefit from this scheme are aware of it.”
To find out more about making a personal injury claim for an asbestos related illness, then contact our specialist personal injury lawyers today.