Damages (Asbestos-Related Conditions) Bill

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:04 pm on 24th April 2009.

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Photo of Michael Fabricant Michael Fabricant Opposition Whip (Commons) 2:04 pm, 24th April 2009

I hear what my hon. Friend says, but earlier the hon. Member for Hendon did raise that point by saying that it is a question of cause and effect, and without recognition that pleural plaques are a cause for concern, there would be no basis for any legal action. I wonder whether that is the case. I would have thought that the link could be established anyway— [ Interruption. ] I see that the hon. Gentleman shakes his head. He argues that no such link can be established.

I am uncomfortable about the Bill for several reasons. We all recognise that compensation must be paid to those suffering from conditions that cause distress and impairment, and I well remember arguments in this House about vibration white finger. For a long time, that too was ignored by Governments, but now compensation is paid. But if there are no symptoms at all, it is a different matter.

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