Thousands of victims of asbestos-related cancer and their families are awaiting the outcome of a case which is being heard at the Supreme Court this week that could overturn a previous ruling which restricted the amount of compensation they were entitled to from insurance companies.
Many employees who were exposed to asbestos in their workplaces contracted the fatal lung disease mesothelioma as a result. While they were allowed to claim compensation, the problem was that their employers' insurers would only pay compensation from the date that symptoms started showing instead of from when they were exposed to asbestos.
Lawyers claim the case to be complex and state that victims faced "confusion and uncertainty" over compensation, since entitlement to damages was now a matter of "pot luck".
The question of when liability is triggered was decided initially in the High Court ruling in November 2008, when the ruling was made in favour of the victims.
However, the Court of Appeal in October 2010 overturned this ruling saying that insurers' responsibility only started at the onset of symptoms, which for some victims did not occur until 50 or 60 years after the first exposure.
The union Unite is appealing to the Supreme Court on behalf of Charles O'Farrell's family. Charles died in 2003 after being exposed to asbestos between 1964 and 1967 while working as a steel erector.
His employer's insurance company, Excess Insurance, claimed that their policy meant that employees had to "sustain injury" during their employment.
Charles developed mesothelioma many years later, by which time he was no longer employed at his company and the insurance policies he had been covered by had expired.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, said: "Unite is determined to restore justice for our members and all victims of asbestos.
"The Court of Appeal decision has left a black hole in the protection that employers' liability insurance was intended to provide.
"Insurance companies sold policies to cover risk. When the risk became a reality some resorted to picking apart the words in their own policies."
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