Weed killer, diesel fumes, and opioid addiction – these are the areas that UK insurers should watch out for this year as far as potential legacy claims are concerned, according to insurance law firm Clyde & Co.
Pointing to the likelihood of diesel fumes becoming a significant issue for employers’ liability insurers in 2020, Clyde & Co partner David Tait (pictured) stated: “I think we’re likely to see an increase in claim numbers.
“Although none have been successful in the UK yet, it will only need one win to potentially open the floodgates. At present, the scientific evidence is not absolutely nailed down but the assertion is that exposure to diesel fumes can lead to conditions such as dermatitis, asthma, and other lung conditions.”
Meanwhile Tait believes opioid addiction could lead to litigation in Britain as well.
“According to one case in the US, it will take $17 billion and 30 years to cure opioid addiction in the state of Oklahoma alone. Here in the UK, one study has suggested that half a million people have been prescribed opioid-based medication for a period of over three years,” he noted.
The Clyde & Co partner also cited US litigation surrounding exposure to the chemical glyphosate in the form of Roundup, a weed killer. It was highlighted that while there have been no successful British claims so far, the scale of payouts in the US is proving to be an industry concern.