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Asbestos campaigner fears victims may die before justice

 

​Courts service prioritising other cases

Victims of asbestos-related illness could die before their cases are heard in court, a leading charity campaigner has warned.

Phyllis Craig, chief executive of Action on Asbestos, said because lockdown has created a backlog of cases in the Scottish Courts, personal injury cases aren’t being prioritised.

Instead, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) is prioritising appeals, family law and commercial cases in the civil courts,

Craig said that victims “may not get justice in their lifetime the way things are with the courts”.

“As far as I am concerned the courts should be prioritising asbestos cases over appeals and commercial actions. Every asbestos case should proceed as normal through the modern technologies that everyone else is using to work through these difficult times.”

It is estimated that around 800 new cases of asbestos-related illnesses emerge in Scotland every year, including the terminal cancer mesothelioma.

A spokesman for SCTS said: “Any case can be brought before the judiciary to be considered as an urgent case at this time. We anticipate the introduction of virtual court technology into the outer house over the next few weeks.”

 

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