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Ruling Restricts Asbestos Compensation

Thousands of UK workers will no longer be able to seek compensation following a landmark decision by the Law Lords. The decision in the case of Rothwell v Chemical Insulation & Co concludes that pleural plaques resulting from asbestos exposure do not constitute a disease and are not legitimate grounds for a claim.

The announcement was met with outrage as workers and unions chided the court's decision while insurers estimated that it would save companies 2.86 billion USD in judgments and legal fees.

Pleural plaques are thick areas of scar tissue that often form in the chest lining and diaphragm as a result of asbestos exposure. They develop following periods of intermittent exposure and cannot become cancerous.

The current ruling vacates a previous decision that allowed workers to claim compensation but capped the amount that could be awarded.

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