The presiding judge came to the ‘landmark’ decision that a lower than previously accepted number of asbestos fibres is required to be found in the body of an asbestos disease victim to prove that the disease can qualify to be diagnosed as asbestos-related.
Although the victim had been intensively exposed to asbestos over a four year period in the late 1950s – early 1960s, through the daily job duty of raw asbestos disposal, the lung tissue samples, which were independently examined, were found to contain 7 million asbestos fibres, considerably less than the claim by a hospital research study that about 20 million fibres needed to be found to be considered as asbestos related.
The lawyers conducting the asbestos compensation for the victim’s widow had pointed to the fact that the research was based on the most heaviest of asbestos exposure figures from the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, in industries such as shipbuilding and asbestos production itself.
In addition, most of the subjects in the original study had died more than twenty years ago, whereas the victim had lived on for forty years after original exposure and during that time, as many as 28 million fibres, would have vacated the body. The judge remarked that the study figures were ‘set … probably significantly too high’ and awarded compensation to the widow.
The work conducted by an asbestosis lawyer to uncover relevant and often hidden aspects in any given case can be the key factors to determining a successful outcome to an often long and difficult claims process. Securing qualified and expert asbestos advice is always the first sensible step.