A report in Litigation Futures describes how the Law Society has voiced its concerns with the Ministry of Justice proposals for a dedicated pre-action protocol and fixed recoverable costs in mesothelioma claims.
We believe that the proposed protocol will not speed up straightforward claims, it will slow them down. Furthermore the proposals would lead to a deduction of success fees and insurance premiums from damages in mesothelioma claims, leaving such claimants significantly worse off than at present. In addition solicitors would become increasingly risk averse so that fewer cases would be brought that test and develop the law in this important area. A proportion of cases that are risky but winnable will simply not be brought at all, leaving fewer mesothelioma claimants with full compensation, precisely the reverse of the government’s stated intention.
We consider the Government’s proposals to be bitterly disappointing. In practical terms these proposals will undo a great deal of the work that has been done, on both sides, to support mesothelioma claimants. These proposals strip mesothelioma sufferers of their unimpeded right to issue court proceedings: no other class of litigant suffers such ignominy.
It does this Government no credit to place such proposals before the public for consultation. They must think again.
You can view the FFW response to this consultation here.