Compensation Claims Started Before October 2007 Can Continue
A leading workplace injury lawyer has welcomed a long-awaited government decision to award compensation to some pleural plaques sufferers.
Although Adrian Budgen, partner and head of national asbestos disease litigation team at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said that whilst the compensation scheme was very limited in scope, he welcomed the financial support it would give to many sufferers of the asbestos-related condition.
Anyone who was diagnosed with pleural plaques before October 2007, and who had sought advice from a lawyer or trade union before that time, should be able to continue with their compensation claim.
Budgen said: “This has been a long time coming – a really long time – and the overwhelming feeling is relief that we can finally offer clarity to pleural plaques sufferers who have been waiting to hear whether they will be entitled to compensation for their condition.
“We cannot underestimate the impact that this wait has had on thousands of sufferers who have had to wait almost three years for any certainty.
“Now a decision has been made and the scheme is disappointingly, but not surprisingly, limited in scope in that it will not offer any help to those diagnosed after October 2007, however we are grateful that there will be support available and this news is therefore welcome.”
Pleural Plaques – benign scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos – has been the centre of a debate since October 2007, when the House of Lords ruled unanimously that those with the condition should not be eligible for compensation on the basis that it is a symptom-less disease, albeit carrying a risk of a much more serious disease in the future.