Many Australians diagnosed with asbestos diseases and mesothelioma are not receiving the justice they deserve, according to leading asbestos and dust disease law firm Slater and Gordon.
Slater and Gordon Head of Asbestos and Dust Diseases Joanne Wade said all too often, people were unaware of their legal rights and time frames that applied following a diagnosis.
“In recent months, we have seen an increase in people diagnosed with mesothelioma at a later stage, because during Covid lockdowns it was sometimes difficult to access treatment. A late diagnosis is
always difficult on people and their families but it is still important to seek legal advice,” Ms Wade said.
“A diagnosis is a shock to anyone and so it helps to meet with an experienced lawyer to take a detailed history of where the person has worked and lived.
“We have a vast database of information regarding work sites, factories, products that contained asbestos and witnesses gathered over nearly 40 years of helping victims of asbestos exposure.”
Ms Wade said Australia had one of the highest per capita use of asbestos products in the world, especially with fibro homes scattering the country.
“With interest rates rising, people are choosing to remain in their current homes and to renovate. Many homes built before the mid 1980’s still contain asbestos products,” she said.
Ahead of Asbestos Awareness Month in November, Ms Wade said homeowners should not be risking their own health by removing asbestos themselves.
“They should get a professional to carry out the removal safely. It’s not worth the risk,” she said.
“If there is a message for all homeowners this Asbestos Awareness Month it’s that there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos. All it takes is one piece of dust to potentially cause severe and irreversible illness decades later.”