Contradictory move by the Government will delay mesothelioma claims

The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) are reporting that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have this week introduced a provision requiring personal respresentatives of deceased mesothelioma victims having to obtain a court order so that they may gain access to the deceased’s employment records. APIL have urgently written to HMRC pointing out that the HMRC claims that this is a requirement under the Data Protection Act are incorrect, and in fact under the Act all rights regarding data privacy matters pass to the personal representatives who will be able to grant consent to access the records. This move is highly contradictory, when the Government have clearly stated their desire to speed up the whole claims process for mesothelioma victims and their families. This incorrect interpretation of the Data Protection Act highlights a further problem, which is how its misinterpretation can either delay, as in this case, or even prevent lawful access to data especially when those seeking access have no background knowledge of the relevant statutory provisions. 


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