§ Mr. Gardiner
Compensation for asbestos sufferers in Northern Ireland is administered by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and Harland and Wolff (H and W) plc.
DEL administers the Pneumoconiosis Worker's Compensation Scheme which was established by the Pneumoconiosis Etc (Workers Compensation) Order 1979. The scheme provides compensation for sufferers (or their dependants) who are unable to claim damages from the employers where the dust exposure which caused the disease occurred, as the employers have ceased to carry on business. DEL has paid out the following amounts under the Pneumoconiosis Workers Compensation Scheme since 1997.
Amount 1997–98 51378 1998–99 61530 1999–2000 nil 2000–01 27,900 2001–02 65,308 2002–03 205,689 2003–04 120,153 Total 531,958
H and W plc assumed responsibility for the settlement of Employer's Liability and Public Liability insurance claims in 2001, following the collapse of the company's insurer (Iron Trades Mutual Society). The majority of these claims have centred around asbestosis and mesothelioma suffers. H and W plc has paid out the following amounts under the Employer's Liability and Public Liability insurance claims since 2001.
Amount 2000–01 171,288 2001–02 2,753,909 2002–03 4,368,638 2003–04 5,943,468 Total 13,237,302
In addition to the above, during the period 1 April to 31 May 2004 H and W plc paid £1,276,249 in insurance claims.