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Home > News > NI assembly reverses decision to allow claims for compensation for pleural plaques

14th December 2011

NI assembly reverses decision to allow claims for compensation for pleural plaques

From Wednesday, December 14, 2011, people suffering from pleural plaques, an asbestos-related condition, will again be able to claim compensation if they were exposed to asbestos in Northern Ireland.

Belfast solicitors Thompsons McClure has welcomed the decision by the Northern Ireland’s Assembly, to once again allow those diagnosed with pleural plaques to seek compensation. They have worked closely with trade unions who campaigned for this legislation.

The Assembly passed The Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) Bill NI, which could see sufferers claiming up to £15,000 in damages, as it restores the right to claim compensation for pleural plaques.

This was a right that was ended by the House of Lords in 2007, but both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament have since passed Bills restoring the right to claim in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Many victims who have been diagnosed with pleural plaques have to live with the worry that they may develop a fatal illness, and the condition is considered a physical marker of irreversible asbestos induced damage to their lungs. Although pleural plaques seldom causes any symptoms, the decision by the Northern Ireland Assembly to reinstate the right to claim damages for this condition, will come as a relief to sufferers.

Derek Kane from Thompsons McClure said: “This is the moment pleural plaques sufferers and asbestos campaigners in Northern Ireland have been waiting for. The decision to deny them compensation was unjust. 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 right that they receive compensation.”

Ian McFall head of asbestos policy at Thompsons McClure’s sister company Thompsons Solicitors in England said: “This change in the law 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 were exposed to asbestos and develop pleural plaques have an injury that should be compensated.”

Making a compensation claim for an asbestos-related disease

It is currently not possible to claim compensation in England and Wales if you have been diagnosed with pleural plaque.

However, if you or your family have been affected by another asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, and would like some advice about how to make a personal injury compensation claim, please contact Clear Answers' solicitors on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms. One of our representatives will contact you as soon as possible.

Clear Answers’ solicitors has a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers specialising in asbestos-related injuries, who are able to offer expert claim advice in what can be very complicated personal injury claims. They have huge experience of asbestos-related disease claims and will be happy to answer any questions you may have in plain English.

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