Thompsons and Asbestos Campaigners Welcome Pleural Plaques Judgement

Clydeside Action on Asbestos, pleural plaques victims and their solicitor Frank Maguire (left) Senior Partner of Thompsons Solicitors all welcomed news that Lord Emslie has rejected a bid by insurers to block the Scottish Parliament’s new law confirming the right to compensation of victims of pleural plaques.

Solicitor advocate Frank Maguire said: “This judgement states categorically that the Scottish Parliament was perfectly within its rights to pass this law and that is tremendous news for pleural plaques sufferers.

“We have an Act of the Scottish Parliament that establishes pleural plaques victims right to compensation and overturns the infamous House of Lords judgement to the contrary.  Those responsible should now abide by the law.

“Thompsons have almost 1,000 pleural plaques cases which have been in limbo while the insurance industry pursued this ill-fated legal action.

“I now call on them to stop obstructing justice and not to try and put any more barriers in the way of victims seeking compensation.

“I am also aware that many insurance companies not involved in the court action, as well as the Ministry of Defence and British Shipbuilders, have been holding back on settling pleural plaques cases. They also should now meet their obligations and pay up.

“The Westminster Government should now enact similar legislation for the rest of the UK.

“It is ironic that pleural plaques sufferers in Gordon Brown’s constituency which includes Rosyth will now be able to claim compensation, but other MOD workers outside Scotland will not.”

Harry McCluskey, Chairman of Clydeside Action on Asbestos said: “this is a great news for the victims of pleural plaques.

“It is absolute rubbish to say that pleural plaques doesn’t affect victims. It’s as  dangerous as any other asbestos related disease.

“Most suffers have some form of breathlessness, but the biggest strain is the worry of developing into fatal conditions like mesothelioma which happens with frightening regularity.”

Mr McCluskey who suffers from asbestosis, the next stage after pleural plaques represents almost 1000 asbestos sufferers who have turned to Clydeside Action on Asbestos for help.

Shipyard workers Dan O’Malley 71 from Paisley, Alex McLean 76 an electrician from Glasgow and Robert Adam 71 a joiner also from Glasgow all suffer from pleural plaques.

Mr O’Malley who worked with Fleming and Ferguson shipbuilders in Paisley said: “I’m delighted the judge has ruled that the Scottish parliament was right to pass this law.

“I was diagnosed with pleural plaques after suffering breathlessness and a persistent cough.

“I had all sorts of x-rays and finally a CT scan  before pleural plaques was confimed.

“Now it preys on my mind all the time especially since a very close friend of mine who had pleural plaques died of mesothelioma last year.”

Alex McLean said: “I have had four former colleagues all die from mesothelioma and that is the real worry.

“Its probably worse for our families. I know my wife worries about what’s going to happen to me.

“She keeps wanting me to go to the Doctor to see if they can do anything, but I know they can’t.

Robert Adam, who worked in shipyards up and down the Clyde said: “As joiners we had to cut the asbestos boards.

“There was no doubt our employers kept us doing it long after they knew the dangers.

“they stopped us cutting the stuff with buzz saws and gave us a small blade, and told us not to kick up the dust.

“But you still weren’t allowed to leave where you were working for breaks. You only got off the ship at lunchtime and and at the end of your shift.

Robert a piper added: “The plaques make me so breathless I had to cancel 16 Burn suppers last year. I am hoping I might manage one this year.

“The worry is really hard to live with.

“Out of 150 joiners who worked with me at Caledonian joiners only 35 are still alive. The others all died well before they were 65, most of them from mesothelioma or lung cancer.”

“So this judgement is no more than pleural plaques sufferers deserve.”

Solicitor advocate Frank Maguire said: “This judgement states categorically that the Scottish Parliament was perfectly within its rights to pass this law and that is tremendous news for pleural plaques sufferers.

“We have an Act of the Scottish Parliament that restablishes pleural plaques victims right to compensation and overturns the infamous House of Lords judgement to the contrary.  Those responsible should now abide by the law.

“We have almost 1,000 pleural plaques cases which have been in limbo while the insurance industry pursued this ill-fated legal action.

“I now call on them to stop obstructing justice and not to try and put any more barriers in the way of victims seeking compensation.

“I am also aware that a lot of insurance companies not involved in the court action, as well as the Ministry of Defence and British Shipbuilders, have been holding back on settling pleural plaques cases. They also should now meet their obligations and pay up.

“The Westminster Government should now enact similar legislation for the rest of the UK.

“It is ironic that pleural plaques sufferers in Gordon Brown’s constituency which includes Rosyth will now be able to claim compensation, but other MOD workers outside Scotland will not.”

Bob Dickie Chair of Clydebank Action on Asbestos who represent around 200 victims  of pleural plaques said:

“It is absolutely wonderful that the Judge has upheld the Scottish Parliament’s right to overturn the House of Lords.

“Pleural plaques victims suffer terrible stress and many of them have gone through additional agonies over the last two years because of the insurance industry’s tactics in trying to block this law.

“This is a great day for the victims and their families.

End

Contact: John Scott
Phone: 07917729201
Email: johnd.scott@johnscottcommunications.com
Website: http://www.thompsons-scotland.co.uk