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Home | Blog | Hardie boss David Macfarlane thought asbestos risk a ‘beat up’

Pleural mesothelioma

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.

Read more on this topics by clicking on the links below:

Hardie boss David Macfarlane thought asbestos risk a ‘beat up’ – The Australian – dated 08/04/14

Former James Hardie boss thought asbestos health concern was ‘a beat-up’ – dated 09/04/14

Hardie used asbestos ‘for 10 years too long’ – dated 09/04/14


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