Northern Ireland's Finance Minister, Nigel Dodds, has announced he is to recommend a change to the law, similar to that recently enacted in Scotland, which will allow individuals with pleural plaques to claim compensation.

Mr Dodds said “Clearly, we cannot turn back the clock in terms of preventing exposure to asbestos, but we can ensure that the consequences of the exposure are acknowledged and addressed. In my view, it is only just and fair that people with pleural plaques, who are ordinary, decent, hard-working people and who may be in advanced years, should be able to call to account the people who are responsible for exposing them to asbestos." The Department of Finance and Personnel is expected to publish a summary of the responses received to its 2008 consultation paper (available here). The Association of British Insurers has indicated that it would object to any plans to make pleural plaques compensatable.

Further developments regarding the restoration of compensation for pleural plaques will be reported here as they arise.