ABI: Pleural plaques – vote by Scottish Parliament ignores the facts says the ABI

Today’s vote by the Scottish Parliament to pass the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) (Scotland) Bill ignores the facts about pleural plaques, and could have far-reaching, unintended consequences, warns the ABI (Association of British Insurers). Insurers are seriously considering mounting a judicial review against the Bill, having taken legal advice.

Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance and Health, said:

“This Bill is fundamentally flawed. It ignores clear medical opinion that plaques are symptomless, and do not cause other asbestos-related conditions. And the full cost implications of this measure, which will be paid for by all Scottish taxpayers and firms, have been ignored. The Scottish Government has already admitted that its initial cost estimates were too low.

“This vote could have profound and unintended consequences beyond pleural plaques. It ignores the fundamental legal principle that compensation is paid only where there are physical symptoms, and could open the floodgates for claims from people exposed to a risk, but showing no symptoms.”

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:
Jonathan French 020 7216 7392 (Mobile: 07958 330 480)
Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 (Mobile: 07776 147 667)
Erfan Hussain 020 7216 7411 (Mobile: 07712 841 184)
Kelly Ostler-Coyle 020 7216 7415 (Mobile: 07968 364 302)

2. The ABI is the voice of the insurance and investment industry. Its members constitute over 90 per cent of the insurance market in the UK and 20 per cent across the EU. They control assets equivalent to a quarter of the UK’s capital. They are the risk managers of the UK’s economy and society. Through the ABI their voice is heard in Government and in public debate on insurance, savings and investment matters.

3. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

Copies of all ABI news releases, together with other information from the Association, can be seen on our website http://www.abi.org.uk