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Fentons partner named as APIL Vice President
Karl Tonks, head of the employers’ liability department at Fentons Solicitors LLP, has been named as the Vice President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
A partner at the firm, Karl has been a member of the executive committee of APIL for the last five years and will work alongside the association’s new president, David Bott. And he is already using his more than 20 years’ experience in accidents at work and cases involving industrial disease to strengthen the campaign for a new body to be established to ensure compensation is available to injured or ill workers unable to trace their employer’s insurer.
"During my time on the executive committee I have already been involved in lobbying for the introduction of a fund of last resort for workplace injuries,” said Karl, who is also the head of training responsible for the development of solicitors at Fentons. “I am now very keen to continue that work and become a major driver of this important campaign.”
Karl, who took up his position following the association's annual ballot, said that the proposed Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau would give hope to those that are still unable to trace an insurer, much like the current system for individuals injured in collisions with uninsured motorists. “It is grossly unfair for sick and dying workers, such as those with mesothelioma, to miss out on getting the chance to pursue justice because of problems tracing historic policy documents,” he said. “However I strongly believe the ELIB can only be worthwhile if it applies to all employers’ liability claimants, not just those affected by asbestos-related illnesses.
“Injured workers who cannot claim compensation are left subsidising insurance companies which have already collected premiums but have avoided providing proper redress,” he said. “The right thing is for the insurance industry to support the widespread calls for a fund of last resort for injured workers, and to meet the costs of setting it up, because no tracing system, no matter how efficient, will provide complete protection for injured workers.
“If the insurance industry continues to refuse to back the calls for such a fund, the Government must legislate for it,” he said. “To let this unfair and immoral situation continue is simply unacceptable.”
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