MP welcomes more compensation money

PLEASED Mike Hancock
PLEASED Mike Hancock
Stuart Burnham with 12-year-old Andrew Impey and his mum, Kirstine Burnham   Picture: Habibur Rahman

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VICTIMS of a rare form of workplace-caused cancer who cannot sue their former employers can now claim compensation from a £350m fund.

The House of Commons has voted that victims of mesothelioma – a form of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos – could be entitled to claim 75 per cent of the potential compensation they could have claimed were they to take action against an employer.

The problem is that mesothelioma takes so long to develop that many firms have gone bust by the time the illness becomes apparent so victims cannot claim on insurance for help with health costs.

The move has been welcomed by Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock.

He said: ‘Although I had hoped for more, I am pleased to see that the victims of such tragic circumstances will get compensation for the terrible pain and suffering that families and victims go through.

‘Mesothelioma is an awful disease and better research is desperately needed to help sufferers and provide better care.’

A vote to have 100 per cent paid was rejected, followed by asking for 80 per cent.

The new figure of 75 per cent means patients with mesothelioma will be entitled to a minimum of £100,000 to help families.

Currently the most you can claim is £83,330.

Those working in shipbuilding are one of the groups that were most exposed to asbestos.