Four companies, Axa, Aviva, RSA and Zurich are to appeal Lord Emslie’s decision not to overturn the Scottish Parliament Bill entitling workers to compensation from the pleural plaques where asbestos fibres leave scarring on the lungs.
Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire Senior Partner of Thompsons Solicitors said “Victims of pleural plaques live with the relentless worry that they will go on to develop fatal asbestos related cancers like mesothelioma as many of them do.
“The fact that the Scottish Parliament passed legislation enshrining in law pleural plaques victims’ right to compensation should have been enough to persuade the insurance companies to meet their obligations.
“Now they are questioning a detailed ruling by a distinguished Court of Session judge after a hearing of 23 days when they were given ample opportunity to put forward all of their arguments and continuing to try and exhaust every legal avenue open to them rather than pay the victims. At the same time, they are incurring substantial court costs themselves. In comparison to these costs any award for pleural plaques would be insignificant.
“Lord Emslie rejected their arguments when he ruled clearly and unambiguously that the Scottish Parliament was within its rights to pass the Damages, (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009.
“The insurance companies should stop putting victims though more stress and worry and address the rights of these workers who were negligently exposed to asbestos.”