The Government will delay the introduction of changes to the rules governing 'no win, no fee' cases for mesothelioma sufferers who want to claim compensation from their former employers, reports the BBC.
As MPs resumed debate on the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill this week, Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, said ministers wanted to make it easier for victims of the disease to make a claim before the plans come into force.
Under the Bill ministers intend to caps the amount that can be paid out under 'no win, no fee' agreements, where costs are obtained from the losing party.
But Mr Djanogly said there had been "careful reflection about the special case of mesothelioma sufferers", adding the planned changes would not be introduced next April but at a 'later date' once Lord Chancellor, Ken Clarke, had examined their 'likely effect'.
He added that ministers are working with insurers and other stakeholders on proposals, set to be confirmed in July, which are designed to help those seeking compensation to make a legal claim if they are unable to locate the details of the insurer which covered their employer.
Adrian Budgen, National Head of Asbestos Litigation at law firm, Irwin Mitchell, welcomed the move:
"The Government’s suggestion that it is finally looking to address this issue is a huge step forward and we, alongside so many families, will be eagerly awaiting the announcement on this issue.
“However, we would urge ministers to carefully consider the introduction of a new scheme and get it right first time by making it available more widely than just mesothelioma victims. Otherwise, the launch will just feel like a missed opportunity to so many people affected by other industrial diseases and workplace injury.”