Get to know Annie
Primarily based in our Adelaide office, Annie also sees clients in other Turner Freeman offices both within SA and interstate, in hospitals, and at their home.
Annie joined Turner Freeman in November 2003 as a law clerk. She was admitted to practice in 2007 and became a partner in 2013. Annie specialises and practices in the area of asbestos litigation.
She was named as one of the leading Dust Diseases Compensation Lawyer in South Australia for 6 years in a row.
- Named as one of the leading Dust Diseases Compensation Lawyer in South Australia for 6 years in a row.
- Annie specialises and practices in the area of asbestos litigation and acts for clients suffering from mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos related lung cancers.
- Primarily based in our Adelaide office, Annie also sees clients in other Turner Freeman offices both within SA and interstate, in hospitals, and at their home.
Annie joined Turner Freeman in November 2003 as a law clerk. She was admitted to practice in 2007 and became a partner in 2013. Annie is the managing partner of the Turner Freeman Adelaide office.
Annie has run more successful dust diseases cases to trial in South Australia than any other lawyer.
Annie’s vast asbestos litigation experience
- She has played a leading role in developing the law in this area to the benefit of asbestos victims.
- In Abel v. Amaca Pty Limited (formerly James Hardie & Coy Pty Limited), Annie obtained the first verdict against James Hardie in a product liability claim in South Australia. The matter of Abel was also the first fully contested matter to run under the Dust Diseases Act 2005 (SA).
- Annie has obtained a number of successful judgments against BHP Billiton Limited for former workers of the Whyalla Shipyards. The first was the matter of Parker v. BHP BillitonLimited. The judgment handed down the first award of exemplary damages under the Dust Diseases Act 2005 (SA). Annie further successfully defended an appeal brought by BHP against the judgment and the award of exemplary damages.
- “The matter of Parker v BHP was certainly a milestone in my career and a case that I am particularly proud of. Obtaining the first award of exemplary damages under the Dust Diseases Act was significant and has paved the way for future claims.”
First successful mesothelioma claim in South Australia
- Annie also ran the first successful mesothelioma claim in South Australia against the Electricity Trust of South Australia (ETSA). In the matter of Geyer, Annie was successful in not only obtaining damages for Mr Geyer in relation to his condition of mesothelioma, but also the first payment for exemplary damages by ETSA in an asbestos case.
Annie has acted for hundreds of South Australians suffering from asbestos disease. She has obtained compensation for sufferers of mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease. Her clients come from all walks of life including former employees of James Hardie, Bradford Insulation, Bells Asbestos, BHP, ETSA, Commonwealth Railways and SA Railways. Annie has obtained compensation for carpenters, electricians, plumbers, builders, home renovators and wives washing dusty clothes.
- “It is an extremely satisfying job providing peace of mind to sufferers of asbestos disease and their families. I could not imagine using my knowledge and skills for a better purpose.”
Largest compensation award in South Australia
Annie ran the test case of Latz v Amaca Pty Limited (formerly James Hardie & Coy Pty Limited) which culminated in the largest award of compensation on behalf of a victim of asbestos disease in South Australia. The case was also significant because it was the first asbestos case in which an award of exemplary damages has ever been made against James Hardie in Australia. Ultimately, on appeal, the award of exemplary damages against James Hardie was $250,000.
Mr Latz’s case also went all the way to the High Court of Australia on the issue of whether Mr Latz was entitled to claim for the loss of pension payments that he was receiving at the time of his diagnosis of mesothelioma in the “lost years”. Mr Latz made a claim for these pension entitlements on the basis that because his exposure to asbestos had caused mesothelioma, and a reduction in his life expectancy, he had lost the ability to claim his pension payments until his otherwise predicted life expectancy. Although the High Court ultimately found that Mr Latz could not claim for his loss of the Age Pension, he was entitled to claim for the loss of a state superannuation pension he was receiving.
Mr Latz’s was the first case of its kind to reach the High Court and will have an impact on all future mesothelioma cases.
Ranked by Doyles Guide as a leading Dust Diseases Compensation Lawyer in South Australia for 6 years in a row.
- Annie is a member of the Asbestos Victims Association (SA) and provides advice to its members on a regular basis.
Qualifications & Memberships
- B. International Studies; LLB (with Honours) – University of Adelaide
- Inaugural member of the SA Dust Diseases Rules Committee
- The Law Society of South Australia
- Australian Lawyers Alliance
- Asbestos Victims Association of South Australia
“Trevor and I would like to thank you for all your hard work and professionalism over the past year or so. You have done a great job securing an excellent outcome.”
Dean & Trevor
“Thank you for your professionalism, advice & knowledge throughout the claim Dad had regarding the work he did when he was younger.”
We would like to thank you for your help and professionalism and more importantly to us your guidance and friendship you showed us during our recent dust claim case. We did not expect the end result to be so high but it pleases me to know Marg will not be struggling later on. Once again, thanks very much for your help and we wish you and your family all the best for the future years.
Dear Annie and staff, Please accept our sincere thanks and appreciation for your dedication in achieving a successful outcome of our case. We will always remember and be grateful in your complete understanding, kindness and reassurance, guiding us through this very unexpected and tragic time in our lives. Also on behalf on our late husband and father who would have been proud and grateful for everything you have done for us.
G, O and S Underwood