A Cumbrian MP has vowed to continue the fight of asbestos victims who have been denied compensation under a recent ruling. For more than 20 years pleural plaque sufferers have been able to claim compensation for their condition. Mr Reed has stated that he and fellow backbenchers will not stop until that right is returned.
Pleural plaques are the name given to the scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos. Although in itself it is not malignant, it is a strong indication of the possibility of developing fatal asbestos lung cancers such as mesothelioma. It affects many workers such as construction workers and miners who are unknowingly exposed to asbestos during their work.
In 2007 the Law Lords passed a rule that forbade sufferers of the condition from making a compensation claim. Recently, The Secretary for Justice, Jack Straw stated that he could not overturn the ruling as there was no medical evidence that pleural plaques were certain to become malignant. He did announce however that sufferers who had already started their compensation claim will be awarded the £5000 they would have received before. Unions nevertheless warned that tens of thousands of people could miss out on their chance to claim.
The Scottish Government recently overturned the Law Lords ruling meaning that Scottish pleural plaque sufferers will continue to be able to claim compensation.