Asbestos Ruling Not For Scotland

Asbestos regulation

26.10.2007

A House of Lords ruling which will prevent sufferers of an asbestos-related condition from claiming compensation does not apply in Scotland "at present", First Minister Alex Salmond has said.

Speaking during First Minister's Questions, Mr Salmond told the Scottish Parliament: "As the ruling was in the context of an English appeal it is not binding at the present moment in Scotland."

However, he said the Government is examining the issue in case a similar ruling is made in Scotland.

The judgment, which removes the right to compensation for those suffering from pleural plaques, sparked outrage among campaigners and sufferers of the condition when it was announced last week.

Mr Salmond spoke after Glasgow Anniesland MSP Bill Butler branded the ruling "scandalous and unjust".

Mr Butler said the decision has "left 214 people whose cases are in court and 420 others whose cases have still to be heard in a judicial no-man's land".

The Labour MSP added: "These are our fellow citizens who have spent their working lives in the shipbuilding, construction and fishing industries.

"Their right to have their cases heard in respect of compensation for their condition has been removed."

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