At Thompson’s we would like to reassure all our clients that as far as possible we are operating as normal. The health and safety of our staff and clients is our primary concern during this outbreak and as such we are reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will be adapting our working practices following government guidelines. However, we have had to make some minor changes to how we are doing things.

Following Government guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our offices and our staff are now all working from home using secure technologies to ensure they are able to continue to progress with existing and new cases as normal. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, however we are continuing to hold these meetings via phone and video calls. All the team are contactable on their direct dial numbers and email should you need to speak with your solicitor, please do not hesitate to talk to us about anything during this time.

We know these are uncertain and unsettling times for many of our clients, and the wider population, and things might look a little different for the foreseeable future. But our focus remains on our dedication, knowledge and strength that we provide to all our clients. We will continue to provide updates over the coming days and weeks in accordance with official guidelines and to keep everyone informed of the situation.

As always, for any concerns, advice and updates on your case; Talk to Thompsons.

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News

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:

Mesothelioma is a fatal illness caused by asbestos. Around 2000 people in the UK will be diagnosed with mesothelioma this year and tens of thousands more will die during the next ten to fifteen years. People who worked in the manufacturing industry, engineering and construction, where employers routinely failed to protect them from exposure to asbestos, are among those most at risk.

In a breakthrough decision for asbestos victims, the High Court in Liverpool has awarded damages to the family of a man who died from lung cancer on the grounds that he had been sufficiently exposed to asbestos in the course of his working life for asbestos to have contributed to his death.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came intoforce on 6 April 2008.

Its sponsors hope the Act's tough new penalties will lead to a greater focus on health and safety, and reduce workplace accidents and deaths. But critics say it would have been more effective if it had included powers to send company directors to jail.

Last year the House of Lords ruled that people with pleural plaques, a thickening of the tissues in the lung caused by asbestos particles, should no longer be able to claim compensation.

Clydeside Action on Asbestos led a campaign, backed by Trade Unions, MSPs and Thompsons to have the law reversed and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill pledged to introduce new legislation through the Scottish Parliament.

And he told the audience at the International Workers' Memorial Day rally in George Square in Glasgow on Monday April 28 that reviews of the Scottish legal system currently underway show little signs of addressing the problem on behalf of the victims or their families.

Mr Maguire said: "The statistics on Health and Safety are there for all to see and they make very disturbing reading.

Mr Dolan said: "I have been fighting for an inquiry into cases of Hepatitis C and HIV since concerns were first raised more than 20 years ago.

"It is a really chilling fact that even since we started lobbying the Scottish Parliament in 1999, many of those who fought alongside me have died, or are seriously ill through Hepatitis C or HIV.

The conference on 'Corporate Homicide and Director Responsibility' has been organised by the Centre for Corporate Accountability, the organisation promoting worker and public safety. It will be held in Glasgow's Trades House on Friday May 16.

Frank Maguire, Senior Partner of Thompsons Solicitors, who will chair one of the sessions said: "We have campaigned for years alongside our colleagues in the trade unions and labour movement for the introduction of a law on corporate homicide.

For over half a century Inverclyde owed much of its prosperity to the shipbuilding industry which was the area's major employer.

But the prosperity came at a terrible price, the deadly legacy of asbestos exposure. Shipyard workers were regularly covered in asbestos dust which once in the lungs can often cause fatal cancers like mesothelioma.

There are many instances involving accidents where it might be said from a common sense viewpoint that the accident was all the fault of one party but in fact, in law, the position is something entirely different.

Through our membership of the European Community, which holds Health & Safety in very high esteem, we have very strict laws to ensure that workplaces are safe.
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