ABI 'disappointed', but claims its not the end of the road

The judgment by the Court of Session in Edinburgh that maintains the recently passed Act to compensate people with pleural plaques ignores the medical evidence that the condition does not cause harm or lead to asbestos-related conditions such as mesothelioma, the ABI said today.

The ruling follows a judicial review brought by four insurers: AXA, Aviva, RSA and Zurich against the Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009. These insurers are now seriously considering the grounds for an appeal, the ABI said.

However, the ABI reassured that the judgment, and any further appeal, in no way affects insurers continued commitment to pay compensation to people with asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, which impact on their health.

Reacting to the judgment, Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of general insurance and health said: “We are very disappointed with this judgment. Insurers brought the review on the grounds that The Damages Act is fundamentally flawed as it ignores overwhelming medical evidence that plaques are symptomless, and the well-established legal principle that compensation is payable only when there are physical symptoms.

“We are pleased that the judgment recognises the fundamental right of insurers to challenge legislation made by the Scottish Parliament, although we are disappointed that the judge did not feel able to overturn the law passed by the Scottish Parliament. Insurers will now be considering carefully this judgment, and are seriously looking at the grounds for an appeal against it. This is not the end of the road.”

See earlier story: Insurers suffer Scottish plaques bill defeat