Supreme Court judges quashed a Welsh Assembly Bill yesterday that would have forced firms to pay the care costs of workers suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.
Labour AM Mick Antoniw, who proposed the new law, said he was “absolutely gutted” by the judgement.
His legislation would have raised around £1 million every year from employers or their insurance to compensate the Welsh NHS for treatment costs for diseases caused by poor working conditions, such as mesothelioma.
But insurance industry giants challenged the plans in court and judges ruled yesterday that the Welsh Assembly does not have the powers to implement the measure.
“Today the insurance industry is at least £1m better off,” Mr Antoniw said.
“No wonder they welcome the Supreme Court asbestos decision,” he added.