Pleural Plaques & Civil (personal injury) Compensation


Benign pleural conditions do not turn into mesothelioma but people with pleural plaques or thickening are at increased risk of mesothelioma and lung cancer because of their past asbestos exposure. This can often lead to anxiety in many individuals.

Prior to 2007, it was possible to pursue a civil claim for compensation in the UK if you were suffering from pleural plaques. However, in October 2007 the House of Lords ruled that this should end. To read the background to this decision, please see our campaigns section.


scot flag Scotland


CAA launched a campaign to rectify this situation which resulted in the introduction of the Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) (Scotland) Act 2009 This act would allow civil claims for pleural plaques to commence again in Scotland.

To protect any potential future asbestos claims a claim for pleural plaques must be brought within 3 years of the date you first became aware that you have an asbestos condition.

As the law stands in Scotland, if a claim is not brought within 3 years, you will be time-barred from bringing a pleural plaques claim and any future asbestos related claims, even if you are diagnosed with a more serious asbestos related disease.


eng & wales England & Wales  


In England & Wales, the UK Government refused to follow the Scottish Government’s example and has ruled out re-instating the right to pursue a civil claim for pleural plaques. The UK Government instead introduced a time limited scheme for England & Wales which closed to new applications on 1 August 2011.

There is no longer any provision to pay compensation to those who contracted pleural plaques from exposure to asbestos in England or Wales.

Please note: Individuals exposed to asbestos in Scotland, whether it was by a Scottish or English employer, may still have a claim for compensation. Please contact us for further advice.


Northern Ireland


The Northern Ireland assembly followed the Scottish Parliament and introduced The Damages (Asbestos Related Conditions) Bill NI restoring the right of people in Northern Ireland suffering from pleural plaques to claim compensation from December 14, 2011.


Pleural Plaques & State (government) Benefits/Compensation


The UK Government advisory body the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) was asked in 2009 by the UK government to consider whether compensation through the Industrial Injuries Scheme would be appropriate for people diagnosed with pleural plaques.  The Council recommended against including pleural plaques among the list of prescribed diseases compensated under the IIDB Scheme. There is therefore no entitlement to state (government) benefit or state (government) compensation for this condition. 

You can read IIAC’s full report, published June 2009, here (pdf).

HOUSE OF COMMONS LIBRARY: BRIEFING PAPER Number CBP 7680, 10 August 2016. Legal claims for pleural plaques.

Last reviewed: April 2019