Consider Joining an Asbestos Register
Until about 1983, asbestos - a natural fibrous mineral made up of very fine, jagged particles - was used in a variety of building, insulation and equipment materials.
Inhalation of asbestos dust and fibre can lead to a variety of diseases but they often occur many years later. Unfortunately, these diseases are usually very disabling and mesothelioma (a type of cancer caused by asbestos) has an extremely high mortality rate.
The circumstances in which an asbestos disease is contracted often determines the potential compensation a person is entitled to. If a person develops an asbestos-related disease due to exposure at work, he or she is entitled to lodge a claim with the Dust Diseases Board and receive medical expenses and weekly benefits.
Claims for large lump sum damages can also be made in the Dust Diseases Tribunal. These claims are usually made against the insurance companies of employers, the manufacturers of the asbestos products and the occupier of the site at which the exposure occurred.
If the asbestos was inhaled in a non-work related environment, such as during home renovations or because a person resided in a home with loose fill insulation then that person is usually only able to make a claim against the manufacturer of the asbestos product.
In these cases there is no avenue to claim an ongoing pension from the Dust Diseases Board.
Given the significant time it takes for asbestos-related diseases to become symptomatic, it is often difficult to produce evidence of the circumstances in which a person had their exposure to asbestos fibre.
To assist residents of NSW and the ACT, RMB Lawyers is creating a register of people who may have been exposed to asbestos throughout their lifetimes. In particular, we are seeking workers who regularly came into contact with asbestos products and residents who lived in homes with loose fill insulation, such as the infamous “Mr Fluffy” homes around the ACT, Queanbeyan and Southern Tablelands area.
If you or someone you know may have been exposed to asbestos, we invite you to contact our firm to register your details. By registering you will be creating historical evidence to back up any future claim you may bring should you develop an asbestos-related disease down the track.