Mesothelioma Ruling May Increase Number of Claims

Mesothelioma Ruling May Increase Number of ClaimsThe role of forensic accountants in insurance cases related to asbestos exposure could increase due to a new ruling made by the UK Supreme Court.
Speculated to open up thousands of new claims, the ruling, made in late March, involved the court placing liability on the period a worker was exposed to asbestos damage rather than when the symptoms first occurred.
Opening up claims from families and the relatives of workers that go as far back as the 1940s, the Supreme Court made this latest decision in light of judges in the lower courts failing to come to an agreement.
In the field of forensic accounting, where numerous personal injury cases involve Mesothelioma, the aggressive cancer related to exposure to asbestos, the ruling could spell a dramatic increase in the role of such accountancy work.
Welcomed by the Association of British Insurers, the ruling was first set in motion back in 2008, when specific cases brought to the High Court led to a similar decision, yet faced further complications when brought to the Court of Appeal.
Presided by a panel of five Supreme Court justices, the new ruling states that the disease could be “sustained” at the time it was caused rather than that settled on at the Court of Appeal in 2010, which rules that liability was triggered when symptoms developed.
According to Unite, the UK’s largest trade union, 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.
Having faced limitations in the past, over the presentation of claims in the dispute of whether they classify as fatal accident or lost years claims, the ruling could help to smooth this issue in forensic accountancy as experts take on new personal injury claims.
Working to assess the loss of earnings and the loss of pension for a large number of Claimants and Defendants, forensic accountants will surely welcome the decision of the Supreme Court and echo the sentiments of the legal team representing the lead claimant Ruth Durham.
Stating that the judgement provided “consistency and comfort” for the relatives of mesothelioma victims, lawyers of the claimant were also joined in unison by Helen Ashton from Irwin Mitchell who said the families of those suffering from asbestos exposure can now “get access to justice and receive the financial security they need”.
Vitek Frenkel, forensic accountant at Frenkels Forensics, said that the ruling “a potentially major move” for his Claimant and Defendant clients.

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