Providing a legal cure…
The management of occupational disease claims continues to be a major issue for Employers’ Liability (EL) insurers left with a legacy of claims arising from exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos dust and fibres, or to noise, or repetitive work systems. Recent personal injury reforms have led many claimant firms to move into this field leading to increasing numbers of claims particularly for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Plexus has a market leading occupational disease team headed by Partners who each have substantial experience in the field and leading teams who have the skills, experience and resources to manage the end-to- end process of handling disease claims. The team is established nationally across three offices (Leeds, Evesham and London) with technical teams in each office handling litigated claims and with a claims centre of excellence in Leeds providing a dedicated pre-litigation disease claims handling unit.
The occupational disease team is currently handling in excess of 10,000 disease claims. These are predominantly long-tail NIHL or asbestos related disease claims, but include vibration white finger (VWF), repetitive strain injury (RSI), occupational asthma and occupational stress. We use Vectus, our highly developed case management workflow system to drive and manage each claim and deliver management information to each client as required.
We are very familiar with the issues that historical EL and public liability occupational disease claims raise which we manage and address by:
- Developing and maintaining an archive/library of historical documents and related evidence
- Establishing as fully as possible any qualifying insurance that can be traced and liaising with different insurers with view to agreeing apportionments and contributions
- Establishing dates of guilty knowledge as applicable to different diseases and different industries and sectors of those industries
- Applying and exploiting rules relating to limitation periods
- Considering complex medical causation issues
- Understanding complex syndicate requirements
As a market leading national practice acting for a number of EL insurers and corporate entities, the team is well placed to understand and address the issues impacting insurers in the industrial disease field.
We are able to keep abreast of developments within bodies such as the Industrial Disease Claims Working Party (IDCWP), Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Civil Justice Council (CJC) through our contacts with insurers and have been actively involved in previous initiatives such as the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) mesothelioma reform consultation.