Asbestos was widely used throughout the armed forces, particularly in construction and shipbuilding due to its excellent heat resistant properties and non-flammable nature.
Many MoD personnel have therefore come into direct contact with asbestos over the past 50 years.
Traditionally veterans suffering an injury or illness caused before 1987 could not sue the Ministry of Defence (MOD). This is because of the doctrine known as Crown Immunity. In certain cases it may be possible for a veteran to claim compensation for past exposure to asbestos dust and we recommend that ex-service men and women contact us for further information.
There has also recently been a welcome change for ex-service men and women who have been exposed to asbestos while in service and have done on to develop mesothelioma.
Veterans who develop mesothelioma
From April 2016 veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos during their service in the army, navy and air force are entitled to compensation.
Prior to the Government announcing the change in December 2015, anyone in the Armed Forces who had developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure during service would only have been entitled to receive a War Disablement Pension.
Now any ex-service personnel diagnosed with mesothelioma who were exposed to asbestos during service are eligible for a lump sum compensation of £140,000 under the Mesothelioma Act 2014, or a War Pension.
The change does not go far enough
Whilst the news is a positive step, it is still not entirely fair.
Veterans will not be able to claim compensation for other asbestos-related diseases, such as asbestosis, pleural thickening and lung cancer. Civilians can secure substantial financial support to help them cope with these conditions and secure their family’s future when they are gone.
If you would like further information on MoD claims, or war pensions, please contact us on 0808 163 3705 or click here…