James Hardie, the company responsible for the production of many asbestos cement building products in Australia, has seen an unexpected increase in asbestos compensation claims in Australia over the past year. Exposure to asbestos fibres is known to cause life-threatening diseases such as malignant lung cancers, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Compensation for such diseases is available throughout Australia.
This financial year, the average claim settlement in Australia for James Hardie victims was $231,000. This $12,000 increase is largely a result of an increase in mesothelioma claims in Australia, from 456 to 542 claims over 12 months.
James Hardie is now expected to pay $117 million extra to a special victims’ fund. This brings the company’s asbestos liability to approximately $1.7 billion.