Mesothelioma Act 2014

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Citation2014 c. 1


Mesothelioma Act 2014

2014 CHAPTER 1

An Act to establish a Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme and make related provision; and to make provision about the resolution of certain insurance disputes.

[30th January 2014]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme

S-1 Power to establish the scheme

1 Power to establish the scheme

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations establish a scheme called the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme for making payments to-

(a) eligible people with diffuse mesothelioma, and

(b) eligible dependants of those who have died with diffuse mesothelioma.

(2) Later sections of this Act set out things that must be included in the scheme and some of the things that may be included.

Eligibility

Eligibility

S-2 Eligible people with diffuse mesothelioma

2 Eligible people with diffuse mesothelioma

(1) A person diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma is eligible for a payment under the scheme if-

(a) a relevant employer has negligently or in breach of statutory duty caused or permitted the person to be exposed to asbestos,

(b) the person was first diagnosed with the disease on or after 25 July 2012,

(c) the person has not brought an action for damages in respect of the disease against the relevant employer or any insurer with whom the employer maintained employers' liability insurance at the time of the person's exposure to asbestos,

(d) the person is unable to bring an action for damages in respect of the disease against any employer of the person or any insurer with whom such an employer maintained employers' liability insurance (because they cannot be found or no longer exist or for any other reason), and

(e) the person has not received damages or a specified payment in respect of the disease and is not eligible to receive a specified payment.

(2) In this section-

"first diagnosed" has the meaning to be given to it by the scheme;

"relevant employer" means an employer who, at the time of the person's exposure to asbestos- (a) was required by the compulsory insurance legislation to maintain insurance covering any liability arising because of the exposure to asbestos, or (b) would have been required by the compulsory insurance legislation to maintain insurance covering any liability arising because of the exposure to asbestos if the legislation had been in force at that time;

"specified payment" has the meaning to be given to it by the scheme.

S-3 Eligible dependants

3 Eligible dependants

(1) A dependant of a person who has died with diffuse mesothelioma is eligible for a payment under the scheme if -

(a) the person with the disease was eligible for a payment under the scheme (see section 2) but did not make an application in accordance with the scheme,

(b) no one has brought an action for damages in respect of the disease under the fatal accidents legislation, or on behalf of the estate of the person with the disease, against the relevant employer or any insurer with whom the employer maintained employers' liability insurance at the time of that person's exposure to asbestos,

(c) no one is able to bring an action for damages in respect of the disease under the fatal accidents legislation, or on behalf of the estate of the person with the disease, against any employer of that person or any insurer with whom such an employer maintained employers' liability insurance (because they cannot be found or no longer exist or for any other reason), and

(d) no one has received damages or a specified payment in respect of the disease or is eligible to receive a specified payment.

(2) Where a person who has died with diffuse mesothelioma is first diagnosed with the disease following his or her death and would have been eligible for a payment under the scheme if the diagnosis had been made immediately before the death, assume for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) that the person was eligible for a payment under the scheme.

(3) A person ceases to be an eligible dependant if the person gives notice in accordance with the scheme that he or she does not want a payment (and this may increase a payment for other dependants - see section 4(2)(b)).

(4) Where a person with diffuse mesothelioma died on or after 25 July 2012 but before this Act came into force, assume for the purposes of subsections (1)(a) and (2) that this Act has been in force since immediately before the death.

(5) In this section-

"first diagnosed" has the meaning to be given to it by the scheme;

"specified payment" has the meaning to be given to it by the scheme.

Payments and procedure

Payments and procedure

S-4 Payments

4 Payments

(1) The amount of a payment under the scheme is to be determined in accordance with the scheme.

(2) The scheme-

(a) may provide for the amount of the payment to depend on the age of the person with diffuse mesothelioma, and

(b) must ensure that where there are two or more eligible dependants, the amount for each of them is the amount for a single eligible dependant divided by the number of eligible dependants in the case in question.

(3) The scheme may-

(a) make provision for payments to be made subject to conditions (including conditions as to how a payment may be used), and

(b) in particular, give the scheme administrator power to decide when to impose conditions or what conditions to impose.

(4) The scheme may make provision for payments to be repaid (in whole or in part) in specified circumstances.

(5) An amount that falls to be repaid under subsection (4) is recoverable by the scheme administrator as a debt.

(6) The scheme must provide that where an eligible person has made an application in accordance with the scheme and has died before the payment is made, the payment must be made to his or her personal representatives.

S-5 Applications and procedure

5 Applications and procedure

(1) The scheme may deal with the procedure for the making and deciding of applications and, in particular, may-

(a) impose time limits for making an application or taking other steps;

(b) enable the scheme administrator to require a person to produce documents;

(c) make other provision about evidence.

(2) The scheme may enable a court to order a person to comply with a requirement to produce documents.

S-6 Reviews and appeals

6 Reviews and appeals

(1) The scheme-

(a) must give an applicant the right to request a review of a decision taken under the scheme, and

(b) may require or allow reviews in other circumstances.

(2) The scheme may contain provision about initiating and deciding reviews (including provision imposing time limits).

(3) The scheme must confer a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against a decision taken on a review.

(4) In a case where a person makes an application and then dies, the reference in subsection (1)(a) to an applicant is to be read as a reference to his or her personal representatives.

Scheme administration

Scheme administration

S-7 Scheme administration

7 Scheme administration

(1) The Secretary of State may-

(a) administer the scheme, or

(b) make arrangements for a body to administer the scheme.

(2) Arrangements under subsection (1)(b)-

(a) may include provision for payments by the Secretary of State;

(b) may allow the body to arrange for someone else to administer the scheme or any part of the scheme on behalf of the body;

(c) may include provision about bringing the arrangements to an end.

(3) Arrangements under subsection (1)(b) may be made with-

(a) a company formed by the Secretary of State under the Companies Act 2006 for that purpose,

(b) a body corporate established by the Secretary of State by regulations under this paragraph for that purpose, or

(c) any other body.

(4) A body administering the scheme in accordance with arrangements under subsection (1)(b) is not to be regarded as exercising functions of the Secretary of State or as acting on behalf of the Secretary of State.

(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make transitional provision for when there is a change in the scheme administrator (including provision modifying the application of any enactment).

(6) For the purposes of this Act, a reference to administering the scheme includes carrying out any functions conferred by or under any enactment on the scheme administrator.

S-8 Unauthorised disclosure of information: offence

8 Unauthorised disclosure of information: offence

(1) A person involved in the administration of the scheme must not, without lawful authority, disclose information which-

(a) was acquired in connection with the administration of the scheme, and

(b) relates to a particular person who is identified in the information or whose identity could be deduced from it.

(2) A disclosure is made with "lawful authority" only if-

(a) it is made for the purposes of the administration of the scheme,

(b) it is made for the purpose of preventing or detecting crime,

(c) it is made in accordance with any enactment or an order of a court or tribunal,

(d) it is made for the purposes of...

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