Extra cash for victims of deadly cancer

Asbestos sign.
Asbestos sign.

Ilkeston victims of the fatal asbestos-induced cancer mesothelioma who cannot trace those who are liable will soon be able to apply for compensation packages worth an average of £123,000.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that Erewash had the highest death rate in Derbyshire as a result of the killer cancer between 1981 and 2005.

The borough was ranked 165th in the country with 46 deaths in a 24-year period.

Around 3,500 victims of the aggressive cancer, or their families, can apply for compensation from next month and may receive a payment from July this year, as part of a £380 million package.

Mesothelioma, which often takes 40-to-50 years to present symptoms after exposure to asbestos, has resulted in over 300 people every year struggling to find a relevant party to sue for damages, because companies become insolvent or insurance records go missing.

Work and Pensions Minister, Mike Penning said: “This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry.

“We have made it an absolute priority to bring in the scheme as soon as legislation will allow, so I am pleased to announce that victims will be able to apply for payments from next month.”