New regulations 'may prevent asbestos claims'

Legislation proposed by ministers may prevent victims of latent work-related diseases such as asbestosis and mesothelioma from making compensation claims, it has been revealed.

According to the Times, the rules would mean that employers no longer have to keep a record of their liability insurance policies, which could prevent those in Northern Ireland from tracing the past insurers and making a claim.

Ministers have justified the move by saying that retaining such records is a burden on business and is not effectively enforced, but solicitors, victims and backbench MPs have commented that a central database could be set up, the newspaper reports.

Labour MP for Hendon Andrew Dismore explained: "It can be a real nightmare tracking down whether an employer had insurance or not. A central database would be much more effective and a lot cheaper."

Amanda Stevens, president of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, told the Times that ending the requirement would hurt "highly vulnerable" people.

Working in close proximity to asbestos particles over a long period can cause asbestosis and other related lung conditions.

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