Orange Client receives payout from James Hardie after being exposed to asbestos dust and fibre whilst building his house in 1978

Published 04 May 2018

Our client contracted an asbestos related disease as a result of being exposed to asbestos dust and fibre whilst building an extension onto his home in 1978.

As a result of the exposure, our client developed Mesothelioma. Unfortunately, given the nature of the disease, his prognosis was limited to three months which meant that we had to act quickly to complete his claim. His condition deteriorated rapidly and we were able to investigate, litigate, proceed to hearing and settle his claim within weeks of receiving initial instructions.

After taking initial instructions by phone, we were so confident that our Client had a strong claim that we flew to Orange to take his testament and start our investigations into gathering evidence in support of his claim.

After this initial visit we had obtained enough information to be able to further our investigations and we were able to uncover a building plan that Council had in their archives which stipulated the use of AC products.

Further, given the year of exposure, our previous experience had taught us that there was only the one manufacturer of asbestos building products in 1978 and that was James Hardie.

This was sufficient for proceedings to be filed in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW against AMACA Pty Ltd, which is the compensation fund set up by James Hardie to pay for asbestos victims.

We argued that at our Client had used James Hardie asbestos products when adding an additional two rooms, a bathroom and double garage to his home in Blacktown in early 1978.

We alleged that James Hardie owed a duty to the end user of its products to ensure that they could safely use its products without suffering a harm, which in this case meant death. By failing to ensure that the product was safe and free of harm, James Hardie breached its duty of care to our Client.

As our Client’s condition had deteriorated, we applied to the Court to have the matter removed from the Claims Resolution Process and requested the Court go to his home in Orange to take his evidence. We were successful in our application and the Court attended on our Client’s premises in Orange to take his evidence within four weeks of filing his claim.

As we had sufficient evidence against James Hardie and enough evidence to provide diagnosis, we were able to attend a settlement conference within seven weeks of filing the claim.

We engaged in a Mediation where the parties were able to reach as agreement and settle the matter for $440,000 inclusive of costs. This was a great result for our Client and we were glad to resolve the matter within weeks of receiving initial instructions rather than increasing his stress and that of his family at such a very trying time in the last few months of his life.

Gerard Malouf and Partners are experts in personal injury and dust diseases claims. If you suffer from an asbestos related disease contact us today for a free consultation. Our team of lawyers are ready to listen to you and advise in relation to your rights. If we believe you have prospects of success we will take on your claim on a No Win No Fee basis and ensure you receive maximum compensation.