Thursday, 18 October 2007
Ayrshire solicitor urges Scottish Government to reverse asbestos compensation judgement
An Ayrshire solicitor has expressed disappointment at this week’s House of Lords judgement blocking compensation for pleural plaques, an asbestos-related lung condition that accounts for as many as 75 per cent of all asbestos claims in the UK.
Norman Geddes is the senior director of Accidentclaims.com in Ayr, part of Frazer Coogans Solicitors.
He said: “It is disappointing that the House of Lords has ruled that people with pleural plaques shouldn’t be awarded compensation. The condition of pleural plaques, which causes thickening of the lung membranes, clearly indicates the presence of asbestos fibres in the lungs, and can lead to clinical depression caused by anxiety over that asbestos, which may in turn cause life-threatening illnesses to develop later.
“However, it is important to stress that, in spite of this ruling, people with mesothelioma, a malignant tumour in lung tissue caused by exposure to asbestos, are still entitled to receive compensation.”
In his House of Lords ruling, Lord Leonard Hoffman wrote: “Proof of damage is an essential element in a claim in negligence, and in my opinion the symptom-less pleural plaques are not compensatable.”
Norman Geddes commented: “This judgement can only cause further anxiety for people who are already living with the knowledge that their lungs have been irreparably scarred by asbestos, but who have not yet developed an even more serious condition. The Scottish Government must enact legislation urgently to remedy this most unjust situation.”
Accidentclaims.com is a firm of Scottish solicitors established in 1996 to provide a dedicated specialist legal service to parties seeking compensation.
The partners of the firm have between them over thirty years experience of legal work including compensation claims and related civil litigation. Norman Geddes is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).