Break through in law to protect asbestos disease sufferers – 06/11/2013

The Civil Liabilities Act 2002 has been amended to allow a later claim to be made for damages if a sufferer develops a different dust related disease. ‘In some cases,’ said AFTF President, Simon Cocker, ‘a person suffering with one asbestos disease can develop another, sometimes years later, but once a claim had been made prior to this amendment, it was final.’
The Bill, passed on November 6th 2013, has another important element to it. If the asbestos sufferer was a carer for another person, an award can be made to provide care by other means. The AFTF has worked tirelessly on driving this, and other amendments through Parliament in 2013, to support the increasing number of people and their families who experience illness or death as a result of exposure to asbestos fibres.

Civil Liability Amendment Bill 2013
This Bill amends the Civil Liabilities Act 2002 to:
·Allow a Court to award provisional damages where a plaintiff has established a claim for a particular dust-related disease so that further damages can be awarded at a later date if the person develops a different dust-related disease; and
· Allow for an award of damages for loss of ability to care for another and to set limits on when such a claim can be made and cap the amount that may be awarded; and
· Clarify that in section 28 the reference to “other courts” includes interstate courts.
· Insert a standard provision stating that the Act binds the Crown.