Decision on payouts to asbestos victims reversed
Victims of an asbestos-related condition will again be able to claim compensation after the Assembly reversed a decision to end payouts.
The Assembly has passed The Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) Bill NI which restores the right to claim compensation for pleural plaques, caused by asbestos.
It could result in sufferers claiming up to £15,000 in damages.
The right to claim compensation for pleural plaques was ended by the House of Lords in 2007. The reinstated right to claim damages for the condition will affect people in Northern Ireland, who have been diagnosed with pleural plaques and who regard the condition as a physical marker of irreversible asbestos-induced damage to their lungs.
Pleural plaques seldom cause symptoms, but many with the condition worry that they may develop a fatal illness.
Derek Kane from solicitors, Thompsons McClure, said: “This is the moment pleural plaques sufferers and asbestos campaigners in Northern Ireland have been waiting for.
“The decision to deny them compensation was unjust. Pleural plaques are scars on the lining of the lung caused by asbestos. It is only right that [sufferers] receive compensation.”