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Two significant court outcomes for vbr clients with mesothelioma

We recently obtained very significant back-to-back judgements against the James Hardie Company Amaca in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW (DDT) for two of our clients with mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos from Jame Hardie building products.
The two judgements – in Bradley v Amaca and Davis v Amaca – were handed down on 9 February and 22 February 2024 respectively after vbr director Sean Ryan ran both matters to trial, one after the other, over a total of 4 days.
Our aim is to negotiate a settlement wherever possible and in most cases, that is what occurs. But sometimes the position adopted by the other side in negotiations does not meet the reasonable expectations of our clients for their claim, and we must seek the court’s decision. That is what occurred in both of these cases, and our clients’ determination to see that justice was done was rewarded with very strong results.
Both decisions were significant in their own way. A more detailed review of the decisions can be found here but in summary:
  • Mr Bradley’s Case
    The court awarded Mr Bradley $500,000.00 for pain and suffering damages. This is a significant amount in itself when measured against past outcomes but additionally, the Judge rejected Amaca’s argument that a
    discount should be made for what are called “contingencies” or “vicissitudes”. This is a percentage discount commonly imposed by the courts to account for the possibility that even if the plaintiff had not
    developed mesothelioma, something else could have occurred to shorten the plaintiff’s life. We argued, and the judge accepted, that no such discount should be allowed in this instance.

    The judge also awarded a significant sum – $171,547.14 – for the
    commercial value of unpaid care from family and friends that Mr Bradley was likely to require over his remaining life expectancy. This was on the
    basis that Mr Bradley wanted to remain in his own home. The judge accepted this, rejecting Amaca’s argument that Mr Bradley should move to a nursing home and thus reduce the need for reliance on loved ones.
  • Mr Davis’ Case
    Mr Davis was awarded total damages of $832,402.13, plus legal costs.

    In this case Amaca/Hardies argued that because some of Mr Davis’ asbestos exposure occurred in South Australia, the pain and suffering compensation should be assessed in accordance with the relatively modest approach adopted by South Australian courts, and that an award of only $340,000.00 should be allowed. The judge largely rejected this argument and awarded $475,000.00, as part of a total award of $897,000.0 plus legal costs.


    This decision also included a significant award for the commercial value of unpaid care – $283,338.35 – with the judge completely accepting expert evidence given on our client’s behalf by the occupational therapist Mr Steven Hoey, who we engaged to provide a report in the case.
Of course, no amount of money can ever be true compensation for what mesothelioma takes away, but within the constraints of the legal system, these are very significant outcomes that we are proud to have achieved for our clients.
Sean is proud to be a lawyer for everyday people no matter what their issue. He has practised in compensation law for all his legal career and he has a superb track record of achieving outstanding results for his clients.

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