Pleural plaques are markings on the lining of the lung (like plaque on teeth) caused by exposure to asbestos. Except in rare cases pleural plaques do not cause any physical symptoms. Occasionally, pleural plaques may cause chest pain.
Pleural plaques do not develop into other asbestos diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Unless you can show pleural plaques are causing pain, a physical disability or a psychological injury (for example a recognised psychiatric condition caused by your diagnosis of pleural plaques or fear of contracting an asbestos disease) then pleural plaques do not give rise to a claim for damages at common law. Likewise, if you are suffering from pleural plaques you will not be entitled to an award from the Dust Diseases Authority (DDA). However, the DDA will examine you at regular intervals (every 2 to 3 years) with x-rays and breathing tests to monitor your condition.
There is no time limit to commence a common law claim in New South Wales. This means a claim can be commenced at any time when you can show you have contracted an asbestos disease causing disability.
If you suffer from pleural plaques we recommend you contact us and arrange an appointment. We will open a file for you and sit with you and take a detailed statement in relation to your exposure to asbestos for future reference. You will not be charged for our legal work unless proceedings are commenced on your behalf and you are successful in the proceedings.