Ruling Will Be ‘Massive Relief’ For Plaques Sufferers, Says Lawyer

Court Upholds ‘Common Sense’ Decision


A leading industrial illness lawyer says ‘common sense’ prevailed after a Court of Session decision today (12th April) means Scottish sufferers of an asbestos-related condition can continue to claim damages.

Several leading insurers had appealed against the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009, passed at Holyrood in March 2009, which enabled people with pleural plaques, a thickening of lung membranes, to claim compensation.

Elaine Russell, a Partner who specialises in asbestos-related disease from the Glasgow office of law firm Irwin Mitchell, welcomed the decision.

She said: “We strongly welcome this decision which will allow sufferers of Pleural Plaques in Scotland to continue to seek justice against their former employers.

“It will come as a great relief to many of our clients who are suffering from pleural plaques as a result of exposure to asbestos in Scotland and we strongly feel that common sense has prevailed here today.”

However, in England and Wales, it is unlikely that plaques sufferers will ever be allowed to claim damages for their condition.

Elaine Russell added: “This has created a postcode lottery for asbestos claimants – a two-tier justice system that benefits those in Scotland but has left those in England and Wales high and dry and unlikely ever to be allowed to claim damages.”

Pleural Plaques is a thickening of the lining of the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos.