Thompsons criticise insurers’ judicial review in Scotland23 April 2009
Challenge to right for compensation for pleural plaques sufferers
Aviva, Axa, RSA and Zurich Insurance have applied for judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to oppose the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act which received Royal Assent last week.
The Act was passed with overwhelming support of the Scottish Parliament and allows people affected by pleural plaques in Scotland to claim compensation. Elsewhere in the UK pleural plaques sufferers continue to be denied a remedy due to a House of Lords decision in 2007.
But the insurers’ challenge will leave Scottish pleural plaques sufferers once again in limbo.
Pleural plaques are irreversible structural damage to the lining of the lung
Head of asbestos policy at Thompsons Solicitors, Ian McFall said: "This shows the lengths insurers are prepared to go to deny ordinary working people the right to compensation for the harm inflicted on them by negligent exposure to asbestos.
“Insurers have demonstrated their total lack of concern for victims of asbestos exposure by prolonging the anxiety of pleural plaques sufferers.
He added: “Pleural plaques are recognised by leading medical experts as irreversible structural damage to the lining of the lung caused by exposure to asbestos which is associated with an increased risk of malignant diseases such as the deadly cancer mesothelioma.”
Thousands of people across the UK have been diagnosed with pleural plaques
Thousands of people across the UK have been diagnosed with pleural plaques.
Many people with pleural plaques tell of their worry and uncertainty knowing that one day they may develop asbestos cancer.
Pleural plaques sufferers in England and Wales are awaiting the outcome of a government consultation into the issue which the Prime Minister promised would be announced after Easter.
McFall added: “The insurers’ challenge in Scotland should not be allowed to delay the government’s announcement announcement in Westminster on what they plan to do in England and Wales. This is a political issue for the UK government and they should respond to the overwhelming moral case for reversal.”
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