New jurisdiction for South Australian asbestos diseases claims at the South Australian Employment Tribunal

Claims for persons suffering from asbestos related diseases in South Australia are usually brought at common law. These claims have historically been filed exclusively in the District Court of South Australia, pursuant to the provisions of the Dust Diseases Act 2005 (SA). The Dust Diseases Act provides that the District Court is to give priority to dust diseases claims over other less urgent cases.

Due to the urgency inherent in many dust diseases cases, for many years these claims have been heard by judges of the South Australian Employment Tribunal, at the Riverside Centre on North Terrace who manage each case from start to finish.  Despite this, dust disease actions have jurisdictionally remained claims brought in the District Court of South Australia.

Recent amendments to the Dust Diseases Act mean that as of 1 July 2017, plaintiffs in dust diseases actions have the choice of filing their actions in either the District Court of South Australia or directly in the South Australian Employment Court.

Whether a plaintiff elects to file their claim in the District Court of South Australia or in the South Australian Employment Court, their entitlements to compensation will remain unchanged.

Should you have any questions regarding the new jurisdiction for dust disease cases or the South Australian Employment Court in general, please contact one of dust diseases lawyers on (08) 8213 1000.