Workers who have developed pleural plaques as a result of being exposed to asbestos have been given the green light by the Government to claim compensation.
The Ministry of Justice has announced details of a payment scheme for people suffering with pleural plaques caused by asbestos exposure.
However only claimants who issued court proceedings, sent a letter or visited a solicitor to handle a claim prior to 17 October 2007 will be eligible for the £5,000 compensation.
“The decision is good news for people suffering with pleural plaques,” said Brigitte Chandler, partner and specialist in industrial disease at law firm Charles Lucas & Marshall in Swindon.
“We have a large number clients who have been waiting for the Government’s decision on this issue. It means we can now start to process their compensation claims.”
Compensation claims for pleural plaques had been put on hold following a House of Lords decision to stop payment of damages to people with pleural plaques.
The Government’s announcement now means that anyone who tried to bring a claim for pleural plaques prior to October 2007 and was not successful, should contact their solicitor to process the claim. Applications have to be made by 1 August 2011 with applicants entitled to compensation of £5,000.
“Unfortunately, those who did not bring a claim prior to October 2007 will not be able to claim under this new Government Scheme,” says Brigitte Chandler. “Those who can claim but go on to develop more serious illnesses such as lung cancer, caused by asbestos, will still be able to bring a claim for a larger sum against their employers.”
Pleural plaques is the least serious of the medical conditions associated with asbestos and is the name given to areas of thickening on the inside lining of the rib cage. They do not cause symptoms and can occur after any amount of asbestos exposure.
“There appears to be no relation between the number or extent of pleural plaques and how much asbestos the person has breathed in,” explained Brigitte Chandler. “They are seen on x-rays or CT scans of the chest. Once they are present, the plaques do not go away but they may not develop into anything worse either.
“However, a small percentage of people with plaques may go on to develop one of the more serious asbestos illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis. People with these more serious asbestos illnesses can still claim damages against their employers.”
For further information please contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793 511055 or email@example.com
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