At the Scottish TUC in April, Thompsons Solicitors launched a campaign to highlight the differences between the treatment of asbestos victims in England and Wales and their treatment in Scotland.
At present in England and Wales:
Families affected by mesothelioma receive substantially less compensation than families in Scotland;
Only the spouse of the deceased can claim bereavement compensation, whereas in Scotland, awards are also made to siblings, children and other immediate family members;
The bereavement award, payable only to the spouse, is fixed at £10,000.
In Scotland, up to £30,000 has been awarded to widows by the court for bereavement with other family members being entitled to up to £10,000 each.
Settlement of a victim’s compensation claim during lifetime prevents family members bringing their claim after death, but this is no longer the case in Scotland.
The aim of Thompsons campaign is to seek equality of treatment for asbestos victims and their families throughout the UK. It is an issue that may affect any of our members who may have been exposed to asbestos or run the risk of exposure.
So far in the campaign Thompsons have:
Encouraged the laying down of an Early Day Motion ( EDM number 1315);
Written to MPs who they believe have particular reason to sign the EDM due to having an asbestos hotspot in their constituency. Attached is a copy of that letter, the Question and Answer document that was sent with it, and a list of the MPs to whom it was sent;
Put a petition on the Thompsons website - which will soon be available on the FBU website.
Thompsons are currently writing to all the asbestos support groups asking that they support the principle of the campaign, but leaving them to decide how they wish to campaign around it.
The FBU parliamentary Support Group will also be encouraged to sign the EDM and back the campaign.
Can I ask that you raise this matter with your MP and seek their support also.
Yours in unity,
National Officer - Legal
Justice for Asbestos families
Sign our e-petition to show the Government how strongly you feel about this injustice.