Belfast solicitors Thompsons McClure has welcomed Northern Ireland’s Assembly’s decision to pass a Bill which recognises the concerns of those suffering from an asbestos related condition.

The Assembly passed The Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) Bill NI which restores the right to claim compensation for pleural plaques.

The passing of the Bill will come as a huge relief to the many people in Northern Ireland who have been diagnosed with pleural plaques and who regard the condition as a physical marker of irreversible asbestos induced damage to their lungs.

Pleural plaques seldom causes symptoms but many with the condition worry that they may develop a fatal illness.

The right to claim compensation for pleural plaques was ended by the House of Lords in 2007.

Scotland also restored right to Pleural Plaques Compensation

Since the decision both the Scottish Parliament and now the Northern Ireland Assembly have passed Bills restoring the right to claim.

Oonagh McClure from Thompsons McClure said: “We welcome this decision which will pave the way for many people in Northern Ireland who have been diagnosed with pleural plaques to claim compensation. Pleural plaques are scars on the lining of the lung caused by asbestos and can cause great worry for those with a diagnosis. It is only just that they receive compensation.”

Ian McFall head of asbestos policy at Thompsons McClure’s sister company Thompsons Solicitors in England said: “This is sympathetic recognition by the Northern Ireland Assembly of the reality facing those suffering from asbestos related pleural plaques. A similar stance was taken in Scotland which leaves only government in England and Wales stubbornly refusing to accept what was, until very recently, regarded as the legal norm – that those who are exposed to asbestos and develop pleural plaques have an illness that should be compensated.”