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Compensation claims for pleural plaques sufferers

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The Government is to make compensation payments to pleural plaque sufferers who were pursuing a claim prior to October 2007.

Sufferers of pleural plaques were dealt a huge blow in October 2007 when the House of Lords announced that compensation for pleural plaques would no longer be paid, despite the fact insurers had been paying out on these claims since the 1980s.

The Government launched a consultation to consider what could be done for those affected, which closed in October 2008. After many delays, the Government finally published its results of the consultation in February 2010 (link to article of mine dated 26 Feb 2010).

Although the Government rejected campaigners' calls for the House of Lords' decision to be overturned, it did state it was considering making payments to sufferers who had started a claim prior to the 2007 decision.

Yesterday, it was announced that the new coalition government would make compensation payments of £5,000 to those who had started but not concluded proceedings, although no further information is yet available on what constitutes 'starting proceedings'.

Pleural plaques are areas of scarring to the tissues of the lungs and are not generally thought to cause symptoms. However, they are an indicator that a person has been exposed to asbestos and as a result, they may be able to make an asbestos claim.

As a result, someone diagnosed with pleural plaques can understandably be concerned that they will develop a more serious asbestos related disease in the future, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer or pleural thickening.

Although these payments will provide some comfort to those who qualify, a large number of pleural plaques sufferers are left unable to claim anything.

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