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Thompsons Solicitors have welcomed a new bill published by the Scottish Government that overrules the decision taken by the House of Lords last October that asymptomatic pleural plaques do not give rise to a cause of action under the law of damages.

The provisions in the Bill which was published on June 24, will mean that people negligently exposed to asbestos who are diagnosed with pleural plaques will continue to be able to raise an action for damages.

Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said:

"Industries such as ship building and construction contributed to our nation's wealth in the past. Sadly however these industries have also given many Scots a legacy which still impacts on their lives today through exposure to asbestos.

"It is therefore right and proper that we should not turn our back on these people. That is why the Scottish Government has taken urgent steps to overrule the House of Lords judgement and ensure that people with pleural plaques can continue to raise an action for damages.

Welcoming the publication of the Bill Solicitor Advocate Mr Frank Maguire, said: "The Scottish Government and the Labour and Lib Dem MSPs who have given their support deserve to be praised for legislating to overturn the iniquitious House of Lords ruling on pleural paques.

"Can you imagine being told you have asbestos in your lungs, it has caused physical changes which could lead to fatal cancers, but you are not entitled to compensation?

"Thank goodness we have the Scottish Parliament which is legislating to overturn the English House of Lords ruling and ensure these victims are once again compensated.

"The insurance companies are trying to minimise the effects of pleural plaques, but many of the victims have seen the people they worked alongside in the shipyards and other industries die from asbestos related diseases.

"They deserve every penny of any compensation they get, and the employers and shipbuilders who knowingly exposed them to asbestos shouldn't be able to walk away from their negligence."

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