The Ministry of Justice have now opened the pleural plaques scheme to compensate those victims eligible for a one off £5,000 payment. We have published the main points below but would recommend that if you feel you are eligible you contact the Ministry of Justice immediately.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for a payment through this scheme, you must have been diagnosed with pleural plaques as a result of exposure to asbestos and have attempted to claim damages for the condition prior to 17 October 2007.

In addition:

1. As part of your damages claim, you must have a) issued a claim form or b) sent a claim letter prior to 17 October 2007 (in line with Pre-Action Protocol for Disease and Illness).

Or

2. Prior to 17 October 2007 you must have named a defendant/insurer to make your claim against, approached a legal/trade union representative about your case and received confirmation that your case was being taken on

In addition, you must:

  • not have received any interim payments from your claim for £5000 or more;
  • have never resolved your case.

The criteria listed above are general guidance only. If you would like to check your eligibility, please call The Ministry of Justice on 0300 303 8150.

How do I apply?

You can apply by telephone or online.
To apply by telephone, please call the Ministry of Justice 0300 303 8150 – lines are open from 08:30 – 17:00 Mon to Thurs and 08:30 – 16:30 on a Friday.
To apply online complete the application form at http://pleuralplaques.justice.gov.uk/

Your application must be submitted by 1 August 2011 to be eligible.

What supporting documents do I need?
You will need to provide copies of additional documents within 30 days of making your application to support your claim otherwise your claim will be rejected. Please note you can only apply once under this scheme.

The type of documents will depend on whether you had legal representation for your original damages claim.

If you were represented by a solicitor you will need to provide:

  • a sealed copy (i.e. sealed by the issuing court) of the claim form and particulars of claim; or
  • a copy, certified by the solicitor, of the letter of claim and the documents in support which were sent with it to the defendant/insurer.
    If you did not send a letter claiming damages as part of your original claim, you will need to provide:
  • Proof of diagnosis of pleural plaques resulting from exposure to asbestos (e.g. a medical report).
  • Copies of correspondence with the solicitor or trade union (certified by the solicitor or trade union) confirming the taking on of the case prior to 17 October 2007 and its handling.
  • Documentation to show that you were working in England or Wales and were exposed to asbestos in the course of that employment.
  • Details of the defendant and/or insurer and grounds of claim against that defendant/insurer.
    If you were not represented by a solicitor and represented yourself for your original damages claim, you will need to provide:
  • a sealed copy (i.e. sealed by the issuing court) of the claim form and particulars of claim; or
  • a copy of the letter of claim and the documents in support which were sent with it to the defendant/insurer.

WE have already reviewed all of our clients who started a case with us and have contacted them directly sending them the relevant documents. We believe that our previous clients maybe entitled to £250,000 between them.

If you started a claim with another firm of solicitors we would strongly urge you to contact them immediately.

Whilst the scheme is a step in the right direction it does not help any of the victims who have either sadly passed away in the interim or those diagnosed after October 2007.
Should you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us on Freephone 08002943065.