It’s taken five years, but eventually 1,000 Scottish people who suffered an asbestos related lung disease have won a significant victory in their legal battle to get personal injury compensation.
Scottish judges have now overturned a UK legal ruling, but during the course of their five year long deliberations, 40 pleural plaque victims have died.
Insurance chiefs have been fighting the case tooth and nail and they now say they will fight on to the UK Supreme Court. A relative of one of the victims appealed for the insurance companies to settle up rather than pursuing the matter further.
Former construction and shipyard workers are the most likely to lodge a personal injury claim for asbestos related illnesses. In 2007, the House of Lords ruled that compensation would not be paid to victims in the UK.
Scottish personal injury solicitors appealed the decision and were delighted that the ruling made earlier this week found that pleural plaques caused by asbestos caused significant personal injury thereby enabling sufferers and their families to claim compensation.
Pleural plaques are asbestos particles that have lodged in the lungs and although they are not life-threatening in themselves, their presence can be a sign of asbestosis, cancer or mesothelioma.
One victim said that it was very stressful and worrying knowing that pleural plaques could develop into something fatal. Another had no doubts that his employer kept him cutting up asbestos boards even after it was determined to be dangerous.