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Asbestos Legislation

UK government delays reforms over legal aid for asbestos victims
In what is being hailed as a victory for asbestos disease victims in the UK, a justice minister said recently that sufferers will initially be exempt from government reforms to "no-win, no-fee" legal claims, BBC News reports.

According to the news source, justice minister Jonathan Djanogly said that the government will first conduct a review of the changes, which would force successful claimants to pay a portion of their damages to their asbestos attorneys.

Campaigners such as the Asbestos Victims Support Group Forum UK have railed against the changes, noting that mesothelioma sufferers should be exempt because the severity of the illness is clear.

"Someone suffering this horrible disease is not making up their cancer to make a quick buck," shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan told the news source. "They cannot possibly be part of the compensation culture."

Conservative MP Tracey Crouch also agreed with the decision to delay the changes, noting that victims should not be forced to spend their final months shopping for the lowest attorney fees.

In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos exposure has been linked to lung cancer and asbestosis. All told, asbestos-related diseases claim the lives of approximately 107,000 people around the world each year, according to the World Health Organization.

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