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Daily Insurance Industry News
Wednesday 23rd of May 2018
October 12, 2011

Disappointment at pleural plaques ruling

by Gill Montia

Story link: Disappointment at pleural plaques ruling

Pleural plaques are in the news again, Scotland’s supreme court having today ruled that the Scottish Parliament acted within its powers in passing the Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009.

The Act includes pleural plaques as a condition for which compensation is payable in Scotland.

However, insurers have long argued that the plaques, which are areas of fibrosis present on the inner surface of the ribcage and the diaphragm, do not impact on health or lead to asbestos-related diseases.

Aviva, AXA, RSA and Zurich mounted a legal challenge in the form of a judicial review in 2009 and today’s judgment has prompted the following statement from the Association of British Insurers (ABI):

The ABI’s director of general insurance and health, Nick Starling, says: “The insurers brought this case because they believe that The Damages Act is fundamentally flawed in that it ignores overwhelming medical evidence that pleural plaques are symptomless, and the well-established legal principle that compensation is payable only when there is physical harm.”

He adds: “We are very disappointed that the Court has not found in our favour on this important principle of law.”

According to Mr Starling, insurers will now consider the judgment and what it will mean for them.

 

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