MERSEYSIDE MP Steve Rotheram has backed a call for a compensation “safety net” to be set up for people who were exposed to asbestos at work.
It followed new statistics showing Liverpool’s death rate for an asbestos-related cancer is above the national average.
From 2006 to the end of 2010 mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lung wall, was recorded as the underlying cause of 89 deaths in the area – the equivalent of three in every 100,000 people.
The national average during the same period was 2.5 people.
Workers who develop mesothelioma are sometimes unable to pursue a claim for damages because they can no longer trace the employer who exposed them to asbestos or the employer’s insurance company.
The onset of symptoms often comes decades after a worker has inhaled asbestos fibres, during which time employers can go out of business and insurance records can be lost or destroyed.
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), a not-for-profit campaign group, said the figures highlighted the need for a compensation fund of last resort for sufferers.
The call was backed by Walton MP Mr Rotheram, who said: “Without the safety net of a fund of last resort, sufferers can be left with no other way of obtaining the compensation which should at least give them some comfort in the last days of their life.”