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Case Study: The Ongoing Danger of Asbestos

The use, sale and storage of all forms of asbestos was made illegal in Australia in 2004. However, as many as 1/3rd of all buildings constructed between the 1940s and 1980s contain asbestos. Many of these structures are still standing and pose an ongoing risk to those who live and work near them.

One such case was revealed by Segelov Taylor client, Mr D.*

In mid-1987, Mr D commenced work at a factory which made paint cans and oil drums.  Mr D’s role was initially to assist with the fit out of the factory’s new premises in Sydney.

The factory walls and roof were constructed from asbestos corrugated fibro, and the gutters and downpipes were made from asbestos cement. Mr D obtained ongoing employment at the Sydney factory and between 1987 and late 2017, when Mr D became ill, he continued to carry out maintenance and repairs at the factory building, primarily on the roof. Mr D worked first as an employee of the company, and then for himself as a subcontractor working for the company.

In doing this work, Mr D regularly worked with asbestos products and was exposed to asbestos dust and fibres.

Mr D’s employer directed him to carry out this work despite their knowledge of the presence of asbestos up until the onset of Mr D’s illness in November 2017. He was not instructed to take precautions nor was he provided with safety equipment to combat the risks associated with working with asbestos.

In 2018, Mr D was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Up until his diagnosis, Mr D had been fit and healthy with no plans to retire.  However, following the onset of symptoms Mr D’s health declined significantly and he required increasing help to complete everyday tasks and self-care.

Segelov Taylor Lawyers commencing proceedings on behalf of Mr D in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW against his employer/occupier of the building. Mr D claimed damages to compensate him for his pain and suffering as a result of his mesothelioma, loss of expectation of life (calculated by reference to the number of years he would have been expected to live but for his illness), out of pocket expenses, commercial cost of gratuitous care provided by his family as well as loss of earnings and superannuation and legal costs..

Mr D’s condition deteriorated, and his claim was expedited, his evidence being taken at his bedside in hospital. Mr D’s claim settled a few days later for a confidential sum.

Segelov Taylor specialise in acting for persons suffering from asbestos related illnesses. Tanya Segelov has represented persons suffering from mesothelioma for over 20 years.

Segelov Taylor acts in all mesothelioma matters on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. This means you will only pay our costs if you are successful in obtaining compensation. Contact our office by phone (02) 8880 0500 or by email

*Names have been withheld for privacy reasons

Date and Time for Case assessment.

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