Anyone suffering from an asbestos related disease will be exempt from the new no win, no fee litigation reforms. On Wednesday of this week, the House of Lords agreed that those with an asbestos related claim could continue to seek access and the amendments were made to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders bill.
The two amendments, that will exempt these cases from proposed no win, no fee litigation reforms are:
- Those claiming for injuries relating to a respiratory disease that has arisen as a result of being exposed to a harmful substance in an industrial setting.
- Those claiming for a disease or condition that has arisen as a result of a breach of duty in the workplace.
These amendments will mean that claimants will keep 100% of their compensation, with the defendant paying the costs for solicitor’s fees and insurance premiums.
However, these amendments have been met with some criticisms from government ministers who have said it is unfair to put claimants into classes. APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) have welcomed the changes but have said they do not go far enough and more needs to be done.
Chief executive of APIL, Deborah Evans, said that whilst these amendments are important and have her full support, the news is only good for those suffering from industrial diseases. She went on to say that the same consideration has not been given to other claimants who are suffering from injuries occurred as a result of an accident that was not their fault and this is a terrible setback for justice.