Victims suffering from lung disease linked to asbestos in North Yorkshire and York were recently urged to claim personal injury compensation to the tune of £5,000 from a government scheme.
August 1 of this year is the deadline for some asbestos victims with pleural plaques to file their personal injury claim with the government. However the funds are only available to those who issued work accident claims against their former employers before the 17th of October 2007. Those victims who sent formal claim letters are also eligible for the payout.
The House of Lords had previously ruled that pleural plaques victims were not eligible for compensation due to the symptom-free nature of their illness. However after unions, asbestos support groups, and the legal profession started a campaign, the Ministry of Justice introduced a compensation scheme for the claimants last August.
Many in the York region were relieved by the news. Both workers at the York carriageworks and the Ferrybridge and Eggborough power stations faced asbestos exposure risks, as the substance had been used for fireproofing at these locations.
York has many asbestos claims since it played a pivotal role in the railway industry, say industry experts. Many former workers have developed not only pleural plaques but also lung cancer and asbestosis from contact with the potentially deadly fibres.
Carriageworks workers have a particularly high level of risk due to asbestos being routinely packed into railway carriages at one time.
Injury law specialists have been urging claimants to action in order to discover if they are eligible for the government compensation scheme.
York Asbestos Support Group founder Kim Daniells recently commented on the issue by stating that she was pleased that the government set up the availability. However she felt that the restrictions placed upon the scheme made it difficult for victims to claim if they did not register prior to 2007.