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Home | Asbestos products | Case Studies | Household & bystander exposure | Clothes washing

Turner Freeman has acted for numerous women who have contracted an asbestos disease as a result of washing and handling their son’s, brother’s, father’s or husband’s asbestos laden clothes.

These women often describe shaking the clothes or beating them with a stick to get rid of dust and dirt, before putting the clothes in the wash.  Many describe dust being released from the clothes and into the air of the laundry or back yard.

Winifred Brennan

Mrs. Winifred Brennan’s husband worked as a carpenter carrying out building work for a number of different building companies in Adelaide. Eventually he set up his own building company carrying out residential and commercial construction work, including building and renovating his family home. The business expanded and over time included 4 of their sons. Mr. Brennan and his sons worked extensively with fibro sheets on eaves and in wet areas.

Mrs. Brennan washed her husband’s and sons’ work clothes, which were covered in dust. She shook the clothes to get rid of the dust and then laid them on the concrete and brushed then scrubbed them, before putting them in the machine. She emptied the cuffs and turned the pockets inside out to get rid of the dust.

Mr. Brennan died of cancer in 1997. In 1999, at the age of 60 Mrs. Brennan was diagnosed with mesothelioma. She brought proceedings against James Hardie, the manufacturer of the fibro sheets used by her husband and sons. She was successful in her claim, the Court awarding damages in the sum of $380,166.00 plus costs.

Mrs S

Mrs. S’s son worked as an apprentice fitter and turner at the Gasworks at Osborne during the 1960s. As part of his job he handled, removed and installed asbestos insulation on steam pipes.

Mrs. S washed her son’s work clothes, which were covered in dust from the asbestos insulation. Forty years later Mrs. S contracted mesothelioma. She commenced proceedings against the Gasworks, which were settled out of court for a confidential sum.

Mrs M

Mrs. M’s husband worked for an electroplating company in Hendon. As part of his job he assisted the maintenance crew to remove old asbestos insulation from steam pipes and boilers and assisted the electricians to work on the corrugated fibro roof.

At the end of each day he brought home his clothes, covered in asbestos dust, for his wife to wash. Years later his wife developed asbestosis. She commenced proceedings against her husband’s employer and the manufacturer of the asbestos products. Her case settled prior to trial for a confidential sum.

We have also successfully conducted claims where children were exposed to asbestos dust and fibre from their father’s work clothes, from being present when their father’s work clothes were being shaken and washed and from being picked up and hugged by their father’s returning from work in clothes covered in asbestos dust and fibre.

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