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Asbestos cancer scheme numbers show asbestos curse is far from over

Updated numbers for an asbestos cancer scheme show that asbestos cancer deaths remain high.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS)

The DMPS was set up in April 2014 in response to pressure from charities and lobbyists to get compensation for asbestos cancer (mesothelioma) victims. The scheme was set up to help those who could not otherwise make a claim.

The scheme is funded by a levy paid by the insurance industry on active employers liability policies. The levy has ranged each year from £40 million down to more recent sums of £32 million.

asbestos cancer
Asbestos cancer numbers are still steady

Asbestos cancer – Background Numbers

Around 2600 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Sadly of that number as many as a quarter may not get any or full compensation. The reasons include ignorance of the law, late diagnosis or the companies they worked for went bust with no traced insurer to pick up the bill.

The DMPS was devised to help those who fell through the cracks who might otherwise had a good claim.

The latest results – lies, damned lies and statistics?

The DMPS have produced a report of the latest statistic – it can be accessed  right here

The latest results confirm that 360 people applied under the scheme in the year from April 2017 to March 2018. Since the scheme started 1,495 have applied from April 2014. This shows a steady year-on-year accumulation of asbestos cancer victims.

The success rate for those who have made applications is said to be 74%. The figures suggest that this is up from 71%. However this only applies if you take out the pending cases. If a significant percentage of those fail then the statistics will show a decline in the success rate.

The scheme started to include those people diagnosed from July 2012 onwards. Due to the passage of time many of the older cases have faded away as people have died, missed time limits or were not aware that they can make a claim.

Other asbestos cancer statistics – Men v Women

Of interest is that 92% of those who applied were male. Broadly about one in six or seven mesothelioma victims are female. This figure is of interest and it seems female victims may not be getting the access to the scheme that they should.

Where the claims have failed

If a case is not accepted then it is possible to seek a review of then a tribunal.  The historic figures show that this has only been successful in about one fifth of cases and only then when further information has come to light.

Corries comment

Howard Bonnett, Director and Manager of Corries specialist asbestos team commented;

“The DMPS figures make interesting but still sad reading. All too often victims of asbestos related mesothelioma are going without compensation.

It is clear that the amounts paid out under the scheme have been steady for the last four years. Noting this I call on MP’s and the government to consider expanding the scheme.

In particular I would point out the following five point plan

  1. That the compensation be paid to all mesothelioma victims – even those that fall short of the current rules;
  2. That particular preference be given to claims involving female victims;
  3. There be consideration of extending the scheme to pay for treatment costs for those would otherwise have made a common-law claim and be able to seek new treatments such as immunotherapy or other chemotherapy trials and;
  4. That there be an increase in the tariff to reflect the fact that damages in common law increase year on year and are not reflected in this tariff since 2016;
  5. Finally I would ask that the review procedure be reconsidered. In particular where there is any doubt as to where a claim could be made rather than an absolute procedure there be discretion to allow the claims handlers to make a payment.

Mesothelioma can affect anyone exposed to asbestos – even if they did not know it.  If you know someone affected by asbestos related disease then Corries specialists may be able to help. Call us now FREE on 0800 087 7839 or fill in our contact sheet right here

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Keith Aston, Bristol.

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