The Ministry of Justice announced this week that the government will review how mesothelioma claims are funded. This follows their losing a judicial review on making mesothelioma claims subject to the provisions of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO).
In spite of the High Court’s ruling, two months on, the Ministry of Justice has still not made any commitment on the review’s format or when it will take place.
The MOJ have said new measures will include working with the National Cancer Registration Service and Public Health England to reduce the time it takes to obtain medical records. HM Revenue and Customs will also be able to disclose work records of deceased victims.
When the government exempted mesothelioma claims from the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, it scrapped the recoverability of success fees and after-the-event insurance from losing defendants, which has led to all sorts of issues in funding mesothelioma claims.
A year ago the government announced the exemption would be lifted after consultation. However, the High Court ruled this to be unlawful in October as the consultation was not the full review the government had promised in the implementation of LASPO.
According to Justice Minister Lord Faulks, the review will take place ‘in due course’, with the Court’s Judgment, and a critical review of the plans by the justice committee taken into consideration during the review process.
It is very welcome news that the victims of this dreadful disease will not have to forfeit a large portion of their compensation to pay for success fees and ATE premiums. In many cases, the majority of the damages award is for the huge amount of nursing care required towards the latter stages of the disease.
The families of these victims can now rest assured that the compensation they receive will adequately cover these costs and that the best care possible is provided.