Pleural plaques in England & Wales

England & Wales Minister of Justice Bridget Prentice made the following statement in Parliament on 9 July 2008:

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.

So it looks as though there may be action in this area south as well as north of the border.  However there is no commitment in the statement towards changing the law of negligence along the lines proposed in the Scottish Bill.  Instead the emphasis appears to be on some sort of welfare support for thos carrying pleural plaques.

It is rumoured that this apparent change of heart by the Government is one of the concessions the Prime Minister made to backbenchers to obtain their support for his Terrorism Bill and its extension of the detention period thereunder to 42 days.