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TUC welcomes 'trigger' asbestos decision

Commenting on the ruling in the Supreme Court yesterday (Wednesday) which found against a number of insurance companies which have been seeking to deny compensation to the victims of mesothelioma, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'We are pleased that the Supreme Court has upheld the basic principle that liability arises at the time when exposure occurs. Any other decision would have been perverse. It is a disgrace that a small number of insurance companies should seek to deny thousands of people who have developed a fatal disease from negligent exposure to asbestos the compensation that they deserve.

'However there are still many people with the disease who are unable to get compensation because their insurer cannot be traced. We urge the ministers to set up immediately an Employers' Liability Insurance Bureau along the lines proposed in a government consultation carried out two years ago.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- The case went on appeal to the Supreme Court after insurance companies were partly successful in an earlier appeal to the Court of Appeal. The companies argued that in some cases employers' liability insurance is 'triggered' not by the exposure to asbestos but by the development of the disease which is always decades later when there is no insurance in place to respond to the claim.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E:
media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E:
rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Gibson T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: egibson@tuc.org.uk

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