Those suffering asbestos injuries in NI will now have recourse

Accident claim experts recently reported that those who have suffered from asbestos-related injuries such as pleural plaques in Northern Ireland will now have legal recourse thanks to new legislation, according to Finance Minister Sammy Wilson.

The act, which comes into effect on December the 14th, state that people in Northern Ireland can make personal injury claims for a number of conditions, including asymptomatic pleural plaques related to asbestos exposure.  This is an about-face from 2007’s House of Lords ruling, which made it impossible to seek personal injury compensation in such cases in the past.

A corresponding law on the Scottish books, which came before the UK Supreme Court, had been the subject of many challenges by the insurance industry.  Earlier this October, the Supreme Court said that claims of insurers that the legislation was an infringement on their human rights and exceeded the Scottish Parliament’s competence were rejected.

Mr Wilson stated that, according to the new law, the challenge to Scotland’s corresponding legislation cast quite the shadow.  The Finance Minister stated that he fought tooth and nail to get the Northern Ireland legislation submitted for Royal Assent by pushing it through the Assembly.

However, Mr Wilson did say that he always believed quite strongly that the Act’s policy objectives were both fair and just.  His belief has now been vindicated by the UK Supreme Court’s ruling, he added, referring to the Scottish legislation.

While it may be targeted and short, the 2011 Act is of vital importance, according to the finance minister, as it seeks to make sure legal recourse remains to be available to those who are in need of it.

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