Supreme Court backs Scottish asbestos law

12 Oct

Unite Scotland has welcomed the UK Supreme Court’s decision to throw-out the AXA Insurance-led appeal against Scottish legislation which can award damages to victims of asbestos exposure.

The insurance industry has continually attempted to kill-off the 2009 Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Act, which itself overturned a 2007 House of Lords ruling stating damages could not be claimed for sufferers of pleural plaques.

Unite Scottish Secretary Pat Rafferty said, “It’s a great relief that the Supreme Court has rejected the UK insurance lobby’s shameful attempts to deny people exposed to asbestos the right to seek justice.

The devastating legacy of asbestos is widespread in the communities of the Clyde and the Forth where it was routinely used in the shipbuilding and petro-chemical industries.  It’s right that negligent employers who exposed workers to asbestos should be made liable for the horrible legacy they have left.

Today’s ruling is a victory for people, not profit, and restores some much needed faith in our justice system.”

Pleural plaques are recognised by medical experts as a sign of irreversible damage to the lining of the lung caused by a history of exposure to asbestos which carries an increased risk of malignant diseases such as the deadly cancer mesothelioma.

ENDS

Notes to Editors: For further information please contact Peter Welsh in the Unite Scotland Campaigns Unit on 078101 57931.

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