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ASBESTOS PLEURAL PLAQUE SUFFERS WIN PARTIAL VICTORY

Supreme Court overturns Lords ruling on pleural plaque damages in Scotland

The Supreme Court in London has ruled on the validity of Scotland’s law on compensation for pleural plaque suffers, a scarring of the lungs caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos.

The Court has backed the right of those in Scotland to claim damages. However, those with pleural plaques in England and Wales will still not receive compensation. The Executive in Northern Ireland is committed to restoring compensation to pleural plaques suffers.

In 2009 the Scottish Parliament passed the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009 (The Damages Act)which restored compensation to victims of pleural plaques.

The Damages Act overturned the House of Lords 2007 decision that pleural plaques victims should no longer be compensated.

The insurance industry has resisted making payments to pleural plaque patients on the basis that pleural plaques are merely a ‘marker’ that someone has been exposed to asbestos in the past and a benign “symptomless condition”.

Decision is “first step in winning justice for all”

The Construction union UCATT has welcomed the Supreme Court decision. 

George Guy, Acting General Secretary of UCATT, said:

“This is excellent news as its shows that despite their huge financial resources the insurance industry do not have a free hand in the courts. It also underlines just how outrageous their actions have been as for over two years they have deliberately blocked pleural plaques victims in Scotland from receiving compensation.

This needs to be the first step in winning justice for all asbestos victims regardless of where they live. Every year thousands of people discover that their health has been damaged by asbestos and many sadly die. These deaths and injuries were entirely preventable; companies knew that asbestos was lethal. Everyone whose health has been damaged by asbestos must receive compensation.”

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