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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Death from second-hand exposure to asbestos dust

Death from second-hand exposure to asbestos dust
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New Zealand

Concern has been expressed over the decision to leave asbestos ceilings in place in earthquake damaged houses being repaired in Christchurch, which makes a recent decision from Victoria's Supreme Court particularly relevant.

Debra Jones died from mesothelioma in April 2012. Her husband Peter worked as a plant operator for the Shire of Dundas from 1984 to 1994 and during that time was required to work with fibrolite pipes made by James Hardie. Mrs Jones's condition was found to have been caused by exposure to asbestos dust when she regularly shook out her husband's work overalls before washing them. Before she died Mrs Jones had successfully sued James Hardie and been awarded $900,000 plus costs.

James Hardie went back to court to argue her husband's employer, the Shire of Dundas, bore some responsibility and should pay a share of the compensation because it ought to have been aware of the health risks of asbestos exposure to its employees and their families.

The Supreme Court agreed, finding that in the second half of the decade in question the Shire of Dundas showed by its actions that it was aware that asbestos posed a risk. It found the Shire of Dundas bore 35% of the responsibility.

People Mentioned:
Debra Jones
Organisations Mentioned:
Supreme Court
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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