Victims of the asbestos related condition pleural plaques have won the right to be represented in the legal battle over a new Scottish law which will protect their right to compensation.
The Scottish Government passed the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act last month, and it is due to come into effect on June 17.
Four of the country’s largest insurance companies, Axa, Norwich Union, Royal & Sun Alliance and Zurich are seeking a judicial review at the Court of Session in Edinburgh in a bid to have the law quashed, as ‘legislatively incompetent.’
Now the victims have won the right to be represented when the issue is heard on May 26, despite strong objections from the insurers.
Solicitor Advocate Frank Maguire of Thompsons Solicitors said: “We successfully argued on behalf of around a dozen of our pleural plaques clients that they have a right to be party to this very unusual action.
“This means that we can represent the rights and interests of our clients directly while the Scottish Government defends the democratic process of the Scottish Parliament.
“I found it quite strange that the insurance companies who are raising the action because they say it will cost them a lot of money if they have to pay out on pleural plaques claims, objected to the victims being involved despite the fact that our clients will be the very ones who will end up having no rights if they succeed.”
It is the second court battle the insurance companies have lost since raising their action. Their bid for an interim interdict to stop the new law in its tracks was also rejected by the court.
The new Act will maintain Scottish pleural plaques sufferers’ right to compensation which was under threat after an infamous judgement by the House of Lords that the diseases was not actionable.