Penioner angry about compensation cut

A FORMER Cliff Quay power station worker has today hit out at a decision to reduce the compensation payouts given to people with asbestos damage in their lungs.

A FORMER Cliff Quay power station worker has today hit out at a decision to reduce the compensation payouts given to people with asbestos damage in their lungs.

Harry Horsley, 69, of Whinchat Close, Ipswich, lives in fear of developing asbestosis after doctors found pleural plaques or scars on the lining of his lungs.

The scars are due to prolonged exposure to asbestos during his time at the power station.

At a test case held in Manchester this month insurance companies fought to stop people with pleural plaques claiming compensation, arguing they are not injuries and cause no symptoms.

The judge ruled that people should still receive compensation for the condition but that payouts will be reduced in the future.

Mr Horsley, who received a "four-figure sum" in compensation in 1999, said: "I think that the whole case stunk.

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"The insurance companies are fearing a large increase in the numbers of people putting in claims in the future because all this is coming to a head now. The true numbers of people affected by asbestos are only now beginning to come to light."

Pleural plaques are benign scars that do not themselves develop into anything more serious. They are, however, a sign that the lung has been exposed to asbestos, indicating the possibility that a sufferer could develop asbestosis

Before the ruling the amounts of compensation given to those with pleural plaques were up to £7,000 with the right to return to court if a more serious illness develops, or between £12,500 and £20,000 for a full and final settlement.

Under the new ruling final settlements will be between £6,500 and £7,000 or around £3,500-£4,000 for a provisional payout.

Mr Horsley said: "I don't think it's right because people still have the same conditions as they did when I received my money. Why should the payments change?

"Although they say that pleural plaques are not an injury they can cause huge anxiety.

"I have seen so many of my colleagues die and I wake up every day wondering how long I'm going to have left to spend with my grandchildren."

What do you think of the ruling? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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