THE daughters of two asbestos victims have spoken out about new Government compensation plans – as they pepare to stage a charitable fundraising ball.
Fran Milner, of Carlton, near Selby, and Amanda Miller, originally from Snaith, near Selby, know all about the impact of the cancer mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos dust.
Fran’s father, Peter Bason, of Camblesforth, died from the illness two-and-a-half years ago, while Amanda’s father, Dennis Digby, of Snaith, has the disease. Their friend and solicitor, Howard Bonnett, of York firm Corries, said a Mesothelioma Bill announced in the recent Queen’s Speech was the result of campaigning which started in 2009 to provide compensation for the victims.
He said 2,500 people were diagnosed with the illness every year, and up to 400 of them might not be able to trace their employers or their insurers.
Mr Bonnett said: “The Bill has been the subject of consultation between the Government and insurers. It will be funded by a levy on insurers and will be open for people diagnosed after July 2012 and the scheme is expected to start some time in 2014.”
But Mr Bonnett said the scheme would not cover other asbestos conditions, such as asbestosis, pleural thickening or lung cancer. In addition, the fund was expected to only pay up to 70 per cent of claims and would not cover claims for the financial loss of spouses or children.
“The scheme should be backdated even further and should be put into place quickly as people are dying without the enormous comfort they get from knowing that their affairs are in order,” he said.
“I urge the Government to do the right thing and make sure the insurance industry fully compensates these victims. It’s the least that they can do.”
Fran said: “I have seen first-hand how important compensation has been to help my family cope after dad’s death.”
Amanda said: “It is such an awful condition. To suffer and not receive proper compensation is terribly sad.”
Meanwhile, the two women are preparing to hold the ball on Saturday at Drax Social Club to raise funds for Mesothelioma UK. Tickets are available by phoning 07425 087304 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook Forget-MEsothelioma-Not Ball.