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Home > News > Personal Injury News

10th November 2006

Mesothelioma Insurance Squabble

Two insurance companies are causing problems for a Liverpool widow as they argue between themselves about how much compensation they should award to her after her husband died of mesothelioma.

John Hughes was 64 when he died of mesothelioma in September 2005 after being exposed to asbestos by the telecoms company Plessey. Mr Hughes was an engineer who worked for the company between the years of 1957 and 1998. Mr Hughes came into contact with asbestos whilst working with maintenance men who were handling asbestos lagging that was on factory pipes.

Legal proceedings began whilst Mr Hughes was still alive and the insurers involved, Zurich and Chester Street both agreed that compensation should be paid to Mr Hughes' widow. Despite this however only an interim payment has been given as the two companies are disputing the amount that each should contribute.

Fighting For Compensation

Representing the Hughes' family is Diana Fos of Clear Answers' lawyers Thompsons Solicitors, she comments: "We see examples of insurers behaving badly, denying and delaying payouts to genuinely ill, injured and aggrieved people. But this really takes the biscuit. Two insurers who were very happy to accept premiums are bickering over who must pay what. Meanwhile Mrs Hughes has no idea when the remaining payment will be made, surviving currently on the comparatively small payment that's already been given."

Mrs Hughes also commented saying: "My husband died prematurely because of the negligent action of his employer. We started this action whilst John was alive, and now a year after his death, the insurance companies are making a bad situation worse by disagreeing about the payment. What has our society come to if companies can get away with killing people and denying compensation."

Earlier on in the year new government legislation ensured that mesothelioma victims would receive full compensation regardless of how many insurers were involved. Diana Fos states: "The Compensation Act 2006 means that insurers can no longer go to extreme lengths to avoid paying compensation to victims and their families. That said, we've a long way to go if insurers act in the way they have in this case."

Compensation Claim

Clear Answers' lawyers specialising in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are able to offer further guidance on likely damages to anyone suffering from an asbestos-related illness, to the families of sufferers, or to anyone who suspects that they or a member of their family may be suffering from, or may have suffered from a work-related asbestos disease.

Telephone us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online claim enquiry forms.

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