Trade unionists have expressed grave concern at a court decision which affects hundreds of people dying from asbestos exposure.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says sufferers face continued uncertainty following a decision in the Court of Appeal On Friday 8 October 2010 over compensation payments.
People living with mesothelioma will now have to wait while the case over their compensation entitlement is referred to the Supreme Court.
Back in 2008, the High Court ruled that employers' insurers at the time of exposure to asbestos were liable to pay out on claims for mesothelioma.
The insurance companies' appeal was decided on at the Court of Appeal on Friday.
The TUC is concerned that any decision which allows insurers not to pay compensation to people who were exposed, even where there was an insurance policy in place, not only undermines the whole principle of compulsory employers' liability insurance, but also denies justice to thousands of people and their dependants.
Commenting on the ruling, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Over the years, insurance companies have done all they can to avoid paying asbestos victims the compensation they are entitled to."
He continued: "They were more than willing to take the premiums when the victims were working, but only too happy to rush to court when claims are made."
"This is the real 'compensation culture' we face in this country - a culture where people can be killed as a result of their employer's negligence and then be denied the compensation they are entitled to," declared Barber.