Turner Freeman partner in our Sydney office is currently running a test case in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales for Mr Stephen Wickham who has contracted pleural mesothelioma after demolishing a shed in his backyard 19 years ago.
THE former managing director of James Hardie Industries in 1978 regarded the health dangers of asbestos as a “media beat-up”, a court heard.
Giving evidence for the first time on the topic in a court of law, David Macfarlane told the NSW Dust Diseases Tribunal that while health concerns were one aspect of the decision by the Hardie board that year to find a replacement for asbestos in its building products, the financial considerations were most important at the time.
“It was a commercial reason — asbestos was becoming more expensive,” Mr Macfarlane, who was managing director of Hardie until he retired in 1990, told the court.
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