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Former shipyard workers from Inverclyde who were recklessly and knowingly exposed to asbestos will be among the beneficiaries of a recent highly significant judgment in the Court of Session.

Lord Emslie rejected a bid by major insurance companies to block the Bill passed by the Scottish Parliament last year to enshrine in law the right to compensation of pleural plaques sufferers.

Pleural plaques is a scarring of the lungs as they react to the presence of asbestos fibres.

Victims live with the constant worry that their asbestos exposure will develop into more serious or fatal diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer.

Frank Maguire, Senior Partner of Thompsons Solicitors was in the Court of Session representing pleural plaques victims, and he is delighted that Lord Emslie upheld the right of the Scottish Parliament to legislate on the matter.

Frank Maguire now calls on the insurers to stop obstructing justice and not to try and put any more barriers in the way of victims seeking compensation.

So too should the Ministry of Defence, British Shipbuilders and other government departments who have been holding back on settling pleural plaques cases.

He also believes the Westminster Government should now enact similar legislation for the rest of the UK.

It is ironic that pleural plaques sufferers in Gordon Brown’s constituency which includes Rosyth Naval Dockyard can claim compensation, but other MOD workers outside Scotland cannot.

Finally a word of praise for the dedicated campaigners of Clydeside Action on Asbestos and Clydebank Asbestos Group whose efforts spurred MSPs to enact the legislation.

Scottish victims of asbestos exposure are now significantly better off than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.

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