Pleural Plaques Update

The Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords in October, having already passed through the House of Commons.

The Bill, if passed, will mean that a sufferer of pleural plaques, pleural thickening or asbestosis will not have to prove that condition is causing them any physical impairment in order to succeed in making a claim for compensation.  The legislation is intended to have a retrospective effect allowing pleural plaques sufferers, who have recently been denied the opportunity to claim compensation, to pursue a claim.

The second reading of the Bill is yet to be scheduled.

If the Bill is passed, it is unclear how the handling of Pleural Plaques cases will be dealt with.  It is anticipated that it will take the form of a government run scheme and MPs are currently lobbying the Prime Minister to exclude solicitors from such a scheme.

Whilst a streamlined system for handling the claims would be beneficial, no consideration seems to have been given as to how Claimants would be advised or how the necessary in-depth investigations into the identity of the correct defendants or insurers would be carried out.