A ‘landmark’ decision by the Supreme Court could allow thousands of relatives of people who have died from asbestos-related cancer claim compensation.

On 28 March, judges ruled liability was triggered when a worker inhaled asbestos fibres, and not when symptoms of the asbestos-related disease developed.

The Supreme Court judges ruled against a group of insurers who had argued they should not pay compensation in cases where the disease developed after their employer’s liability policy had expired. They maintained the insurance companies that held the policy when the claimant developed the cancer should be liable for compensation.

The British Safety Council welcomed the decision. Neal Stone, the charity’s director of policy and communications, said: “This is a very important judgment in favour of sensible health and safety and will be welcomed by thousands of workers exposed to asbestos in the course of their work, their employers and others committed to preventing the deadly consequences of work-related diseases.”

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