Mesothelioma Claims – Employers Liability

MesotheliomaOn the 28th March 2012, the Supreme Court handed down judgment regarding the employers liability trigger litigation.  This overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgement of 8th October 2010 which was regarding the meaning of “disease sustained” in Employers Liability policy wording and reinstates the market practice that policy cover for mesothelioma claims is triggered by the date of exposure to asbestos and not by the deemed date of injury many years later. This was all started back in 2006 with the Bolton V Municipal Mutual Insurance (MMI).  This was a public liability case that held that in a mesothelioma claim, injury occurs when the tumour starts to develop, often 10 years prior to the onset of any symptoms.  Insurers had differing wordings, some with “disease sustained” and others with “disease contracted” within their Employers Liability wordings.  Often insurers would refer to the Bolton ruling and decline claims on this basis.  A group of claimants sought to reverse the stance being adopted by insurers and issued legal proceedings. This was known as the employers liability policy trigger litigation. The Supreme Court held that employers liability policies will respond whether the wording of the clause is “caused”, “contracted” or “sustained”.

What does this mean to business?

You should ensure within your own business: 1) Seeks to assess whether you have claims against historic employers liability policies with insolvent insurers. 2) Make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your historic employers liability insurance, especially if there has been acquisitions. 3) Have financial provisions in place to meet the cost of possible future uninsured mesothelioma claims. Reference: Marsh Insolutions

 To discuss this topic further or if you have any concerns regarding your own liability insurance, contact Bromwall on 01707 883377 or email us on or check out our liability insurance page here 


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