A Queensland carpenter, exposed to asbestos materials during his career has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and is filing charges against Amaca Pty Ltd, formerly James Hardie and Co.
The court documents submitted on behalf of Edward Williams outline that he was employed as a carpenter in Perth between 1969 and 1984 and regularly handled asbestos materials during that time.
He alleges that the exposure to asbestos products resulted in his diagnosis of mesothelioma, and claims the diagnosis has reduced his life expectancy and resulted in permanent disability.
Maurice Blackburn’s Jonathon Walsh, who is acting on behalf of Mr Williams, has filed a claim for more than one million dollars to cover Mr Williams’ home assistance and medical costs.
“Sadly, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases continue to rob people of their future,” Mr Walsh said.
“Working as a carpenter for many years between the late 60s and mid-80s, Mr Williams cut and drilled asbestos sheeting made by James Hardie, exposing him to the highly toxic asbestos fibres contained in the sheeting.
“At no time was he ever told about the dangers or provided with appropriate protective equipment.
“Forty years later, he is now faced with an incurable and frightening disease which will take him from his large family far too soon.”
Amaca Pty Ltd, previously James Hardie, makes annual contributions to its Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund. As part of a settlement agreement with the NSW government, James Hardie is required to contribute 35 per cent of operational cash flow into the scheme.
There are fears that the scheme is underfunded despite that requirement. It is estimated that around one person per week in Western Australia alone over historical asbestos exposure.