Claiming pleural plaques compensation on grounds of negligence
The highest court in the UK, the House of Lords, has today announced that it will not overturn the law which prevents sufferers of pleural plaques from claiming compensation on the grounds of negligence.
Despite a five day hearing earlier this year in the House of Lords, in which sufferers of pleural plaques argued that they should be compensated for the negligent exposure to asbestos they suffered, the law lords upheld the verdict passed by the Court of Appeal in January 2006.
The law states that pleural plaque sufferers, whose cases have not yet been settled, will not be permitted to claim compensation.
Pleural plaques are areas of thick scar tissue which form in the chest lining and diaphragm and are caused by asbestos exposure. Over time, this thickening of the pleural membrane, which lines the lungs, can make breathing difficult and can, in some cases, be accompanied by the development of other more serious respiratory diseases including mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Adrian Budgen, head of the industrial diseases team with law firm Irwin Mitchell, commented: “I am extremely disappointed that the decision to deny pleural plaques sufferers’ access to justice has not been overturned by the House of Lords today. I represent many families who will be devastated by the news.
“This decision will impact upon thousands of people who have faced emotional anguish since their diagnosis. Pleural plaques is a consequence of negligent exposure to asbestos. This exposure physically scars victims and is often a precursor to very serious, and sometimes fatal, disease.”