Governments Tackle Asbestos Issue

Pleural Plaques


The Scottish Government has introduced a draft Bill which would reverse the effect of a House of Lords ruling that people with "pleural plaques" - a condition related to asbestos - cannot claim compensation.

Launching the legislation, community safety minister Fergus Ewing warned lawyers not to seek rich pickings from the new legislation aimed at helping victims of asbestos-related conditions. "There has been evidence that lawyers who handled personal injury claims have benefited more than the victims," he said.

Meanwhile, the UK Government has so far announced only that it plans to consult on the pleural plaques issue and announced other measures that caused a Labour MP to voice concern that it is proposing to weaken laws protecting workers from asbestos exposure.

The Government's proposal to abolish the requirement on employers to retain employers' liability compulsory insurance for 40 years has been criticised by David Taylor, MP for Leicestershire North West. He said it would have a "serious effect" on anyone exposed to occupational hazards that are slow to show, such as mesothelioma.

Mr Taylor also said the existing law was poorly enforced, and that insurers of employers whose workers were exposed to fatal asbestos dust often could not be traced.

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