The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Accident and Injury Claims Centre
welcomes asbestos-related cancer law


A LEADING Scottish lawyer has welcomed the announcement of forthcoming Scottish Executive legislation designed to help victims of an asbestos-related cancer, as well as their families and dependents.

Norman Geddes, senior partner at the Ayrshire-based Accident & Injury Claims Centre, a division of Frazer Coogans Solicitors, Ayr, says that the Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) Bill will allow mesothelioma sufferers to claim full compensation, and their families to claim for their own grief and suffering.

Norman explained: “Under the current law, sufferers of mesothelioma - an asbestos-related cancer which can develop up to 40 years after exposure to asbestos - face the dilemma of either settling their damages claim while alive, or not settling their claim before death so their relatives can claim greater awards. Most sufferers do not claim themselves, so as not to disadvantage their families.

“The Bill that has now been put before the Scottish Parliament following a consultation which ran in July and August, will remedy this situation by allowing the immediate family to claim damages for non-financial loss even if the deceased settled their own claim while alive. It will apply to cases where the sufferer's own case is concluded after the Bill comes into force as an Act - expected to be by next March.”

The Rights of Relatives to Damages (Mesothelioma) Bill only applies to that one disease, the most unpleasant of the fatal conditions contracted from even a tiny particle of asbestos lodging in the lung, and taking up to 30 years to kill its victim. There are at present about 1900 people dying from it in Britain every year, but numbers are expected to soar over the next decade.

The law is changing a loophole in past laws, which meant compensation could be paid to a living sufferer, but at a lower rate than would be paid to the surviving family after death. That has left victims facing the dilemma of choosing between maximising their families' benefit, but at personal cost in the final months of their lives.

Lawyers campaigning for victims hoped the law change could go wider than mesothelioma, to avoid the same impact on those suffering from other work-related fatal illnesses. But it was limited to the one condition to let it go through before Parliament is dissolved for next year's election.

Norman Geddes concluded: “Victims will now be able to pursue those responsible for compensation without fear that the rights of their families to compensation for their loss being extinguished.”

ABOUT THE ACCIDENT CLAIMS CENTRE
AND FRAZER COOGANS SOLICITORS

Ayrshire solicitors Frazer Coogans have expanded rapidly from small beginnings in the 1980s to offer a friendly and personal service to all clients from their modern premises in Ayr town centre.

From their Ayr base, partners Norman Geddes, Austin Thomson, Lauren Fowler and assistants Stuart Paterson, Peter McNamara and Ian Morman - all experienced solicitors - along with their professional and dedicated staff, provide a comprehensive suite of legal services to Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland and the UK, with particular expertise in accident claims, personal injury damages, property conveyancing, divorce and family law, wills, estates and executries.

Frazer Coogans’ Ayr office operates a specialist Accident Claims & Personal Injury Damages Centre to assist clients in making claims for personal injury damages after road traffic, workplace, slip and trip accidents and also in criminal injuries compensation.

This Ayrshire firm of solicitors has also established a significant presence in Scotland’s property conveyancing market, advising clients on all aspects of buying, selling and leasing premises both domestic and commercial, and handling property conveyancing for diverse clients across Scotland.

Scottish divorce and family law is another area in which Frazer Coogans solicitors possess particular expertise, advising on the legal, financial and child related issues associated with divorce, providing negotiation for amicable settlement and undertaking litigation where needed.

Frazer Coogans solicitors also offer a professional, dedicated and sympathetic service for wills and estates in the UK, including the administration of estates and appointing executors.

In 2003 Frazer Coogans successfully attained the "Investors in People" standard.

The firm is fully computerised with Broadband connection. It occupies modern premises in the centre of Ayr with adjacent parking for clients and wheelchair-friendly access.

-ends-

Issued on behalf of the Accident & Injury Claims Centre at Frazer Coogans Solicitors by Fame Publicity Services.

Enquiries:

Norman G Geddes
Senior Partner
Accident & Injury Claims Centre / Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Dalblair House
46 Dalblair Road
AYR KA7 1UQ

Tel: 01292 280499
Fax: 01292 611645 / 01292 272601

E-mail: norman@frazercoogans.co.uk
Web: Accident and Injury Claims Centre Frazer Coogans Solicitors

Murdoch MacDonald
Fame Publicity Services
10 Miller Road
AYR KA7 2AY

Telephone: 01292 281498
E-mail: famepublicity@aol.com
Web: Fame Publicity Services
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