Breakthrough in asbestos disease compensation claims

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The Supreme Court has ruled that an asbestos-related cancer victim should receive compensation, even though he was not working directly with the toxic substance.

Mr McDonald was a lorry driver attending Battersea Power Station to collection rubbish and waste products which contained asbestos. He was not employed by the owner or occupier of Battersea Power Station where the asbestos was present.

In the past, compensation has only been paid to victims who were direct employees of the owner or occupier. The Supreme Court, on a 3:2 majority, ruled anybody engaged in visiting sites where asbestos is present, can make a claim for compensation against the owner/occupier. This is a majority victory for victims of asbestos diseases where they can claim for much-needed compensation.

Around 2,500 people currently die each year from Mesothelioma (the malignant form of the disease) with the figure expected to reach its peak in around 2020.