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Disease: mesothelioma update

In December last year Justice Minister, Shailesh Vara announced that success fees and ATE premiums would cease to be recoverable in mesothelioma claims (thereby implementing ss.44 & 46 LASPO) in July 2014 and also that the government did not intend to go ahead with a portal and fixed costs in these claims. Earlier this month the MOJ published its response to the consultation confirming this course of action. The response can be found here (opens in pdf).

The Mesothelioma Act 2014 (Commencement No.1) Order 2014 was made on 3 March 2014.  As a result of the order, sections 1 to 6 and 8 to 10 of the Mesothelioma Act 2014 will come into force on 31 March 2014 and section 14 of the Act will come into force on 1 September 2014. Section 7 provides for the Secretary of State to enter into an arrangement with a body to administer the Payments Scheme and section 14 enables the Secretary of State to collate information from insurers with a view to calculating how much each insurer will be required to contribute toward the levy. Section 13 of the Act creates the power to force insurers to pay the levy and will become effective on 1 September 2014.

The MOJ has also updated the Mesothelioma Payment Scheme: impact assessment: the assumption that applicants would receive 75% of average civil compensation payments has been revised and raised to 80%. Due to savings made in administering the scheme average payments will now be £123,000.  The scheme will be administered by Gallagher Bassett. Read the government press release

This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.

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