The following article was written by Senior Reporter Sukran Sahin, and published by the Barking and Dagenham Post on 11th April 2012. You can find the original article here: edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/launch.aspx

Liability triggered by exposure says judge – but pleural plaques ignored

 
 
Local MP Jon Cruddas has campaigned strongly for compensation 
 
Families of people  who contracted asbestos-related cancers may have won  their long fight for compensation but there are fears  that some sufferers of a related disease may never even  have the chance to claim.
 
Last week the Supreme  Court ruled that insurance  liability was triggered when  employees were exposed to  asbestos as opposed to when  symptoms occurred.
 
But Jimmy Parish, president of the Dagenham GMB  laggers branch, said those  who have suffered from pleural plaques – an asbestos-related illness – may not benefit.
 
He said: “If you are diagnosed with pleural plagues,  you may never get a chance  to make a claim anything until you’re dead.
 
“I  come  from  a  family  where all my uncles and my  dad died of asbestosis. I’m  one of many.”
 
In 2007, the House of Lords  ruled that people who had  been exposed to asbestos  could no longer claim compensation for pleural plaques,  often a precursor for mesothelioma or asbestosis.
 
‘Disillusioned’
 
However, by the time the  more serious conditions appear, it is often too late to  benefit from any claim.
 
Mr Parish added: “A lot of  people are disillusioned with  what’s going on. They got us  into a position where we just  can’t claim.”
 
In Barking and Dagenham  the death rate from mesothelioma – a terminal cancer of  the lung wall caused by exposure to asbestos – was nearly  double the national average  between 2006 and 2010, according to figures from the  Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
 
In the borough 4.7 out of every 100,000 people died as a  result of the disease, compared to the national average  of 2.5.
 
Dagenham and Rainham  MP Jon Cruddas welcomed  the ruling. He said: “It’s shameful that  it has taken so long to get  here, but hopefully this compensation will provide some  relief to those in our constituency who need it so badly."