Sweeney Miller has welcomed the Government’s rejection of insurance industry proposals to change the way compensation claims for terminal cancer patients are handled.

Sunderland law firm Sweeney Miller is echoing comments from the not for profit Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), which is lobbying the Government over the issue.

Karl Tonks, of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), said: “Recognition that the consultation proposals would not help to settle cases quickly for mesothelioma victims shows that the Government has listened to impassioned arguments of victims, their families and their representatives.

“We now look forward to working closely with the Government to see how the process can be improved for people who are dying from this horrific disease and whose life expectancy is very short,” he said, in response to a ministerial statement from justice minister Shailesh Vara.

Sunderland solicitor Paul Miller said: “The danger here was always that genuine cases of hardship would face problems getting the response they deserved.  Thankfully Apil has lobbied hard on behalf of its members and the general public.”

But the association also voiced concern that mesothelioma victims will no longer be protected from reforms to the no win no fee system, implemented through the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act in April.

“We argued from the outset that the cost implications of the changes could mean that some mesothelioma claims may never be brought to court at all,” said Tonks. “In those cases which do go ahead, sufferers may have to make deductions from their damages to pay their costs, which they can ill afford to do.

“We understand the Government has conducted a review of this issue and we await justification for this decision.”

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