Scotland Moves to Re-institute Compensation for Pleural Plaques
Scotland may overturn an October ruling by the Law Lords that denies compensation for people suffering from pleural plaques.
Pleural plaques are clusters of scar tissue on the lining of the lungs which are often caused by exposure to asbestos. While they are generally benign they can be precursors to other asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis and can compromise lung function.
The Law Lords (an equivalent of the U.S. Supreme Court) ultimately ruled that pleural plaques are not proof of damage and sufferers cannot be compensated. This angered many across the country and has led the Scottish government to introduce legislation that will nullify the courts decision.
They argue that because the presence of plaques can be connected to developing mesothelioma later in life, that compensation should be paid on at least the emotional suffering involved. This has been met with resistance from insurers who claim that legislation will raise insurance costs despite the fact that plaques sufferers have been compensated for the last 20 years.
If the law passes it will likely not be able to compensate sufferers who have been denied compensation or accepted reduced settlements following the decision.