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Ministry of Justice

Pleural plaques

Reference Number : CP14/08

Status: Closed - with response

Open date: 09 July 2008

Close date: 01 October 2008

Responses published: 23 March 2010

A consultation on the government response to the House of Lords decision in Johnston v NEI International Combustion Ltd, that the existence of pleural plaques does not constitute actionable or compensable damage.

This paper considered and sought views on the government response to the House of Lords decision in Johnston v NEI International Combustion Ltd and conjoined cases (known at earlier stages as Rothwell v Chemical & Insulating Co Ltd) about pleural plaques.

Pleural plaques are small localised areas of fibrosis found within the pleura of the lung caused by asbestos exposure. In a unanimous decision on 17 October 2007, the Law Lords upheld a Court of Appeal decision that the presence of pleural plaques does not constitute actionable or compensatable damage.

Consultation paper

Response

There were 224 responses to the consultation from a wide range of people, including individual members of the public, the legal profession, trade unions, members of parliament, business groups, medical professionals and asbestos victims support campaigners.

The Government's conclusions and next steps were announced by the Justice Secretary on 25 February 2010: Pleural plaques: Jack Straw statement.