Goodbye job applications, hello dream career
Seize control of your career and design the future you deserve with LW career

Amaca ordered to pay $1.21m in landmark decision from Qld jury

Following the alleged asbestos poisoning of a former employee, Amaca (formerly known as James Hardie & Coy) has been ordered to pay a total of $1.21 million and a sum of $800,000 for loss of life expectancy.

user iconLauren Croft 24 June 2024 Big Law
expand image

In a matter heard in the Supreme Court of Queensland and in a landmark case for victims of asbestos-related diseases, a Queensland jury has ordered Amaca to pay a total of $1.21 million and a sum of $800,000 for general damages and loss of life expectancy to Kim Martin, a 77-year-old suffering from mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos products manufactured by James Hardie & Coy.

Martin was diagnosed with asbestos-related pleural disease in 2013 and with deadly mesothelioma in 2021 after working with James Hardie products and in its factories more than 50 years ago.

Martin handled James Hardie products and attended their factories in Western Australia and Queensland regularly between 1967 and 1975. Additionally, he cut and installed James Hardie products during private renovations in Western Australia in 1978 and 1979, often with his bare hands.


“I didn’t see any warning labels about asbestos or dust released from the asbestos cement sheets I carried and worked with. There were no signs at the James Hardie factories about the dangers of what we were handling,” he said.

The case, led by Slater & Gordon Lawyers, marks the first pain and suffering award for a mesothelioma victim in Queensland and the highest pain and suffering award for a mesothelioma victim in Australia.

Slater & Gordon legal counsel in dust diseases Sean Sweeney said the news is a huge win for all Australians who have been exposed to deadly asbestos fibres, which continue to impact workers decades later.

“This is a watershed moment for victims of mesothelioma, marking the first occasion that a Queensland Court has assessed damages for a plaintiff suffering from asbestos related disease,” he said.

Sweeney commended the jury for their decision in the case and added that this is an important step forward for victims of asbestos-related diseases.

“This is another important step towards holding these asbestos manufacturers accountable for their actions. James Hardie & Coy Pty Limited knew for decades that there was no safe level of exposure to asbestos, but they prioritised their profits over the health of the public, creating a horrible legacy of asbestos-related disease and death.

“We commend the members of the jury for providing justice for Mr Martin and his family. However, there are no winners in a case like this when a wonderful life has been cruelly cut short by an entirely avoidable disease,” he said.

“Mr Martin has demonstrated extraordinary courage in his fight against James Hardie & Coy Pty Limited, obtaining the first award for damages for mesothelioma in Queensland. However, what is important to Kim and his family is the recognition that James Hardie failed him, and so many others, and has been held accountable for their actions.”