The Supreme Court has ruled that insurers’ liability was triggered when claimants were exposed to asbestos dust, rather than when they developed symptoms of mesothelioma.
This has opened the doors to those who have developed mesothelioma to seek damages against their employers who were negligent in exposing their employees to the dust. This U-turn by the court has been welcomed by insurers, unions and victims alike, as it has significantly reduced the complexity in establishing liability against an employer.
THE HOUSE OF LORDS ALSO OPPOSES ENDING RECOVERABILITY OF ATE INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN INDUSTRIAL DISEASE CASES.
This judgment follows a vote in the House of Lords to exclude asbestos and industrial disease cases from the impending Jackson Reforms. If approved by the House of Commons, claimants will still be able to recover their After The Event (ATE) insurance premiums from the defendants beyond April 2013.
It is yet to be seen whether the ATE market will experience a surge in applications from those suffering the disease, although many insurers already possess a significant interest in asbestos claims and this ruling is likely to see a increase in claimants looking to seek damages from their employers.