In the case of Vescio v Telstra Corporation Limited (Compensation) [2022] AATA 1353, Turner Freeman successfully represented the widow in her application against Telstra Corporation Limited over the death of her husband (“the deceased”), who was exposed to asbestos dust and fibre during his employment with Telstra as a linesman.

As a result of this exposure the deceased was diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, namely pleural plaques, rounded atelectasis, diffuse pleural thickening and asbestos related pleural disease. The deceased also developed a recurrent right sided pleural effusion.  Additionally, he suffered from other health conditions like emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischaemic heart disease, diabetes, and chronic renal disease, which were not caused by his employment with Telstra.

The widow applied for compensation under Sections 14, 17 and 18 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (“the Act”) arising out of the death of her husband.

The entitlement to claim compensation by a dependent of the deceased (for example spouse, parent, step-parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, child, step-child, grandchild, sibling, half-sibling) is available under the Act if it can be proven that the deceased’s death was caused by, and/or was contributed to, to a significant degree, by an illness/injury (for example asbestos-related disease) suffered by the deceased and that that illness was caused by, or contribute to, by the deceased’s employment.

Telstra was arguing that the widow is not entitled to compensation as the death of her husband was attributable to renal failure.

In this case, Turner Freeman was successful in securing substantial compensation for the widow.  The Tribunal found that the deceased’s death resulted from a number of comorbidities, substantially contributed to by asbestos-related pleural disease in the form of diffuse pleural thickening, rounded atelectasis and asbestos-related recurrent pleural effusions, which resulted from the deceased’s exposure to asbestos during his employment with Telstra.

You can find this decision here.

Get in touch with us

At Turner Freeman we understand the difficulty of dealing with a loved one’s death, and we are committed to providing you with the best possible outcome.  To discuss your entitlement in more detail, please contact us as soon as possible on 02 8833 2500 so that we can address any questions or concerns you may have about making a claim.

At Turner Freeman, we have specialist dust diseases lawyers who will assess your case and provide personalised advice regarding your legal entitlements. Our dust diseases lawyers are located across NSW including offices in Parramatta, Wollongong and Newcastle.  We also travel to see clients at hospitals and their homes.

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