Statement on pleural plaques consultation

Bridget Prentice

09 July 2008

Justice Minister Bridget Prentice has made a statement about the government's consultation on supporting people with pleural plaques (small localised areas of fibrosis found within the pleura of the lung caused by asbestos exposure).

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Bridget Prentice):

The government has today published a consultation paper: 'Pleural plaques'.

The consultation paper considers what the most appropriate way of supporting people diagnosed with pleural plaques would be, following the Law Lords' decision on 17 October 2007 that pleural plaques are not actionable or compensatable damage.

The paper proposes action to improve understanding of pleural plaques and to provide support and reassurance to those diagnosed with pleural plaques to help allay their concerns. It considers the issues that arise in relation to changing the law of negligence and invites views on whether this would or would not be appropriate. It also seeks views on the merits of offering no fault financial support to people diagnosed with pleural plaques, and on two possible ways of doing this.

We would welcome responses to the paper from Honourable Members and from all those with an interest in this important issue.

Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies have also been made available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office and can also be obtained free on the Ministry's website.

The closing date for consultation is 1 October 2008.