Parker v. BHP
In a landmark decision, the District Court of South Australia has made an award of compensatory and exemplary damages to Turner Freeman client, Peter Parker. Mr Parker was employed at the BHP shipyards at Whyalla during the 1960′s and 1970′s.
Judge Lovell undertook a review of the extensive use of asbestos materials at the shipyards. He also undertook a review of the development of knowledge of asbestos diseases, finding that asbestos was a known danger from the 1930′s onwards.
BHP had sought to argue that they had not breached their duty of care to their employees. The Court rejected this argument, finding that they had failed to take steps to determine the level of exposure to asbestos, or to avoid injury to their workers.
The Court also made, for the first time, and award of exemplary damages under the Dust Diseases Act.