Elderly victims entitled to more substantial mesothelioma compensation amounts
Updated: 7 January 2014
A landmark ruling on damages for pain and suffering accompanied by changes currently being made to the Mesothelioma Bill could see elderly sufferers entitled to more substantial compensation amounts in the future.
If you or someone close has started to deteriorate in health, and you believe asbestos could possibly be to blame, please get in contact with Roberts Jackson on 0800 001 4496. Our specialist solicitors will guide you in the right direction and provide all the legal support you need at this difficult time.
Are compensation amounts currently too low?
A payout awarded to an elderly mesothelioma sufferer last year was significantly higher than the £35,000 figure recommended in the Judicial Studies Board (JSB) guidelines.
The High Court awarded 92-year-old Dennis Ball a mesothelioma compensation amount of £50,000 for the pain and suffering he had developed after getting asbestos-related cancer following his work for the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation.
In her written judgement, Mrs Justice Swift said: “A person of any age who is informed that his or her life will be cut short by the effect of a harmful substance to which he or she has been wrongfully exposed is likely to suffer a good deal of distress.”
“I consider that the appropriate award of damages lies below the lower level of the bracket of awards identified in previous editions of the JSB guidelines, but significantly above the lower level which appears in the latest edition.”
What is the future for mesothelioma compensation?
According to the JSB guidelines, the lower bracket of mesothelioma compensation allows for cases where the victim lives and suffers with mesothelioma symptoms for a period that is less than average – usually between 12 and 18 months.
The revision of the Mesothelioma Bill and the higher compensation amount awarded to Dennis Ball indicate that mesothelioma compensation levels are currently set too low. Both could also pave the way for more elderly victims receiving settlements that properly reflect their pain and distress in the future.
The ruling in particular indicates that regardless of the amount of time the victim lives after their diagnosis, they should still be appropriately compensated for any pain and suffering that they inevitably have to go through.
Further compensation guidance from Roberts Jackson
Whether you or a loved one has an official diagnosis or a general concern about your health, mesothelioma solicitors Roberts Jackson can provide you with a free initial consultation where we examine your circumstances, answer any of your questions and talk you through your options.
Leaving all complex and complicated jargon at the door, you can trust us to provide you with the legal support that you need, while also helping you to achieve the compensation you rightfully deserve if we believe that pursuing a claim would be in your best interests.
Contact us now on 0800 001 4496 to speak with a member of our team, or visit our mesothelioma compensation claims guide for further information on how we can help.