UCATT secures Labour Party commitment on asbestos.

Posted: 14th Aug 14 11:10 AM

The National Asbestos Helpline are pleased to note that at a recent Labour Party policy making forum held on the 18th to the 20th July, a commitment was given by the Party that if elected to power at the next General Election, it will legislate to bring in a proper compensation scheme for sufferers of asbestosis and asbestos related conditions.

It will do so by enshrining in law the current levy on the insurance industry. The compensation scheme will be extended to include Pleural Plaques should evidence be found to show Pleural Plaques are symptomatic.” At the NAH we get to know the sufferers and families devastated by the terrible legacy of asbestos and would always support any initiative that helps them receive the compensation they are rightfully owed. We are delighted by this recent development. By way of brief background Readers may recall that after a prolonged legal battle the House of Lords ( now the Supreme Court) in a case called Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co. Ltd, ( 2007 ) decided that despite pleural plaques being a clear indicator of asbestos exposure, they were largely symptomless (even if accompanied by a psychiatric condition arising from the anxiety of developing an asbestos related condition ) and that compensation could not be recovered for pleural plaques alone.

A short government scheme called the Pleural Plaques Scheme was briefly introduced and allowed some limited recovery of compensation for pleural plaques after Rothwell, but which was closed down in any event in August 2011, since which time suffers of pleural plaques have languished uncompensated but with the knowledge they have been exposed to asbestos. NAH will continue to keep an eye on any developments relating to pleural plaques generally, but would invite Pleural Plaque sufferers to contact the National Asbestos Helpline to have their details placed on their National Pleural Plaques register to ensure they are kept updated of any changes to legislation