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Frank MaguireThompsons Solicitors, the only law firm to represent individual clients at the Court of Session Judicial Review hearings on pleural plaques, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to take on insurance companies over the issue.

First Minister Alex Salmond told the STUC that the Scottish Government would fight all the way to the Supreme Court, to defend Scottish legislation confirming pleural plaques sufferers’ right to compensation.

Frank Maguire, Thompsons senior partner and a life-long asbestos campaigner said: “The Scottish Government is doing absolutely the right thing in standing up to the insurance companies, and their threat to go to the Supreme Court in a bid to defeat a perfectly legitimate piece of legislation.

“The Court of Session has already rejected two attempts by the insurance industry to block this Act. “I would have thought the insurers would have got the message by now and stopped prolonging the agony of pleural plaques sufferers by mounting yet another legal challenge.

“They should be doing the decent thing and no longer delay payments for wrongful conduct in exposing employees to asbestos exposure by employers”.

Mr Maguire said Thompsons have almost 1,000 clients who live with the terrible burden of fearing their pleural plaques will develop into lethal cancers like mesothelioma.

Around 40 of the firm’s pleural plaques clients have died while waiting for their cases to settle, and another 20 have gone on to develop more serious asbestos related conditions.

Mr Salmond told the STUC meeting in Ayr that he was “bullish” about fighting any appeal by the insurance companies all the way to the UK Supreme Court.

He said: “I would urge those determined to make victims suffer for as long as possible – stop torturing the sick and start respecting the democratic right of the Scottish people to pass legislation.”

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