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The Supreme Court has struck down a law passed by the Welsh Assembly, which would have made insurance companies pay NHS Wales for treating workers who have been exposed to asbestos.
It is reported that the legislation gained the backing of the Welsh Government in 2013.
There were allegedly concerns as to whether or not the Assembly had the power to introduce a law to make businesses or insurers pay for the cost of treating asbestos patients.
On the 9th February 2015 judgment was handed down in the Supreme Court, in which all five Judges ruled that the insurance companies were protected by the European Convention on Human Rights against retrospective legislation.
This is reportedly the first time that the Supreme Court has struck down a Welsh law.
Andrew Stinchcombe of Novum Law comments “This was an interesting attempt by the Welsh Assembly to make insurance companies pay NHS Wales for treating those who had been exposed to asbestos. If the law had been successful, it is possible that other parts of the United Kingdom may have attempted to follow suit. The rising number of mesothelioma victims in the United Kingdom each year does cause financial strain upon the NHS, so it is not surprising that an attempt was made to recover some monies on behalf of the NHS. It remains to be seen whether any further attempts will be made to reintroduce this legislation.”
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