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National law firm Slater and Gordon has called on the O’Farrell Government to immediately support recommendations made by the NSW Law Reform Commission to the way families and relatives of dust disease victims are treated, particularly after the victim has died.

Joanne Wade, asbestos disease legal specialist, said the reforms recommended by the Commission would go a long way to providing justice for the families of people who die from dust diseases such as mesothelioma.

“These are common sense reforms that will deliver justice, compensation and fairness to the families left behind after the death of a loved one,” Ms Wade said.

“We call on the O’Farrell Government to accept the Commission’s recommendations and make the necessary changes to the law as quickly as possible so the innocent families of the victims of dust diseases can start to benefit.”

Ms Wade said the recommended reform to the way damages are assessed in cases where a dust disease victim has died prior to their case being finalised were particularly significant.

“This reform would go a long way to ensuring the families of workers and others who have died before their case is resolved will receive the compensation that the victim would have been awarded.

“Another significant reform recommended is to allow the family of a victim to start a compensation case and be entitled to damages for pain and suffering for the victim, up to a year after their death from an asbestos related illness.

“This is a step in the right direction for the families and victims of asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma which can strike so suddenly and cause devastation within days to weeks. This change should be immediately accepted.

Slater and Gordon conducted the first successful common law asbestos litigation case in 1984 and has since created many precedents, and has acted for thousands of people with asbestos-related disease.

Slater and Gordon is Australia’s largest asbestos litigation law firm.

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