Bernard Banton's Case

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Bernard (Bernie) Douglas Banton was an Australian advocate for people suffering from asbestos associated diseases and social justice. He was widely recognised as the face of legal and political campaign to achieve compensation for the many victims whom have contracted asbestos related diseases. Asbestos is a naturally occurring heat-and flame-resistant crystalline mineral. It was widely used in the manufacture of many products such as wall and roof sheeting and cladding. If the fibres are inhaled, they can cause a variety of life threatening diseases including asbestosis (scarring of the lung issue that restricts breathing) and mesothelioma (cancer of the plural lining that is almost fatal). Mesothelioma can take up to 40 years to develop.…show more content…
Bernie Banton became a campaigner for the right of workers to receive compensation from James Hardie, Bernie Banton and past James Hardie employees had their rights overstepped and decided to take the matter to court, the company knew of the dangers of asbestos many years before they ceased to use it in their plants and yet continued to expose their workers to its dangers, continually working without protective clothing. James Hardies Company infringed their employees’ rights when they failed to provide the adequate care to their employees’ having known of the dangers of asbestos yet they still made their employees continue with their jobs, as a past employee of James Hardie; Banton Sued James Hardie for negligence in 2000. He was one of an estimated 12500 claims made against the company for asbestos related…show more content…
Victims of asbestos-related claims, as well as their families, have been pushing for new legislation to be passed, particularly in New South Wales, which would enable plaintiffs to claim for damages within a 12-month period from the time a person dies from an asbestos disease. This is because in some circumstances people do not realise that the disease is related to asbestos until after death. These changes in the law have already been passed in South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria. (decision-realated) Mr Banton, who received $800,000 in a settlement from Amaca in 2000 for a less serious asbestos disease, took advantage of a 1995 change to the law allowing a second claim to be made. Ms Segelov said that "remarkably" Mr Banton was the first plaintiff to claim such further damages. Amaca, now part of the Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund set up by James Hardie after a public scandal over its underfunding of a 2001 trust by $1.5 billion, challenged Mr Banton 's right to include exemplary, or punitive, damages in his
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