PLEURAL PLAQUES - CHANGING THE FUTURE OF THE INDUSTRY

Rebecca Conway, Arc Legal's Claims Manager took part in lively panel discussion on the impact of the recent judgment on pleural plaques on the insurance industry and sufferers.

She was joined by representatives from the Association of British Insurers, the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, insurers AXA and Allianz Cornhill, Navigant Consulting and lawyers Davies Arnold Cooper.

The following are extracts from Rebecca's contributions to the discussion:

What impact has the recent judgment on pleural plaques had on the industry and sufferers, what are the wider implications and what does the future hold in terms of compensation claims?

"As I understand it at the moment the law is still in a state of flux because we are all waiting for the House of Lords judgment, which will probably not be for another 18 months. So at the moment that it is too close to call. We are looking now at pleural plaques as a non-actionable injury and I am looking at it from a before-the-event stand point. But having had chats with the solicitors that are acting for the claimants on these cases they seem to be falling into three categories; those where proceedings have already been issued and they are being stayed at the moment; those where proceedings have not been issued and it appears that claimants are looking to defendants for an amnesty on limitation; and then there are the new cases. In the last case I don't think solicitors are turning those cases away, they are saying - 'we will take preliminary instructions from you'.

"For us the Lady Justice Smith judgment made excellent reading. She also said that it was still a personal injury whether it was symptomatic or not."

"Unfortunately the case has been given a bad press and everyone is jumping onto the pleural plaques bandwagon."

A full report of the Power Hour is available on the Insurance Age website (www.insuranceage.com)

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