Campaigner from Raleys Solicitors Welcomes New Hope for Asbestos Victims
Two new bills currently under debate in Parliament could lead to the reinstatement of compensation payments for sufferers of pleural plaques after they were stopped in 2007 by a law lords ruling.
Raleys Solicitors Industrial Disease specialist, Victoria Elves, who has been campaigning for the 2007 decision to be overturned has welcomed the new bid to overturn the 2007 decision, claiming it has denied compensation to hundreds of South Yorkshire’s former miners.
Pleural plaques are small or medium sized areas of scarring on the lung lining caused by breathing asbestos dust. It is believed that between one third and one half of all workers who come into contact with asbestos dust in their careers will develop pleural plaques.
Although sufferers were previously entitled to claim anything up to £15,000 in compensation, the Government’s current stance is that because pleural plaques themselves do not cause any symptoms, sufferers should not be entitled to claim compensation.
Raleys Solicitors’ Victoria Elves and many others argue however, that being diagnosed with pleural plaques is very distressing and that victims shouldn’t have to wait to be diagnosed with something more serious before being allowed justice.
The bills which challenge the 2007 law lords ruling were put forward by Labour backbencher Andrew Dinsmore. The news of the bills came amid claims that the Government was planning to announce the introduction of a new £70m compensation package for asbestos-related disease sufferers, which will reportedly include a £5,000 no fault payout to pleural plaques sufferers, providing they first lodged their claim before the 2007 ruling. This package reportedly bars all other sufferers from claiming.
Raleys Solicitors’ Industrial Disease Specialist, Ms Elves states that this package is simply not acceptable. She points out that the current rules are already unfair, with Scottish victims of pleural plaques being entitled to claim, whilst their English and Welsh counterparts cannot. Victoria Elves claims that the reported package would simple further this inequality.
Said Victoria Elves of Raleys Solicitors of the two bills challenging the package and the law lords’ decision, “The Government has been challenged from all quarters but has stalled when asked to reverse its decision. We can only hope (the bills) pass through law sooner rather than later.”
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