Britain expands asbestos liability in victory for plaintiffs

April 5th, 2012

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that insurers are liable from the moment a patient is exposed to asbestos, not when any asbestos-related disease develops. The ruling will enable thousand of patients to file asbestos lawsuits against companies that exposed them to asbestos.

The court confirmed that there is a strong correlation between certain workplaces and asbestos exposure, making a company responsible for any illness related to workplace asbestos exposure. The ruling guarantees patients the right to file a claim even if they’re no longer employed by the company.

Asbestos is a carcinogenic building material used heavily from the 1940s until the 1970s. Diseases from asbestos exposure, such as asbestosis and mesothelioma—a deadly form of cancer that can take decades to develop—affect thousands of workers in the UK and United States every year.

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