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Can New Zealanders make a claim for compensation for mesothelioma?

New Zealanders who were exposed to asbestos in Australia  and who develop mesothelioma are able to bring a claim for compensation in Australia on the same terms as Australians, even if they also had exposure to asbestos in New Zealand.

Every year more than 100 New Zealanders contract mesothelioma as a result of prior exposure to asbestos.  For many of those people, they were exposed to asbestos while living or working  in Australia.

Under the Accident Compensation Commission Act, the New Zealand Government abolished the right of New Zealanders to make compensation claims in the event they develop mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in the course of work, or as a consequence of another person’s work (for example a family member who inhaled asbestos from her father’s dirty work clothes).  Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) compensation includes costs of medical treatment,  weekly payments, a lump sum, funeral costs and other out of pocket expenses.

The compensation paid by the ACC is substantially less than that paid under Australian law.

New Zealanders who were exposed in Australia while here working, or living, can bring a claim in a Court in the State in which they were exposed.

Segelov Taylor has acted for numerous New Zealanders who lived and worked for periods in Australia, before moving or returning to New Zeeland and who were exposed to asbestos in Australia.

It does not matter if they were also exposed to asbestos later while in New Zealand.  It also does not matter that they developed mesothelioma in New Zealand.

The value of claims for compensation in Australia, and the processes by which they are brought, vary between Australian states.  In general terms the claims are worth in the order of A$450,000 after payment of costs to the person.   Claims may be worth more in the event the disease stops the person working, or there is a loss of a capacity to look after dependents who require care.

In addition, various Australia states have statutory schemes that ay increase the amount of compensation payable.  In all circumstances the relevant issue is where the person was exposed to asbestos, not where they were at the time they developed the condition.

Segelov Taylor Lawyers can act for New Zealanders bringing claims in Australia for compensation for mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions.  We are able to confer by video conference and telephone, and can complete the claim without the client needing to travel.

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