April 23, 2010
CSR court decision a blow to asbestos sufferers
Slater & Gordon, Australia’s largest asbestos litigation law firm, has expressed disappointment at
today’s Full Federal Court decision to allow CSR’s planned demerger to go to a shareholder vote.
Slater & Gordon asbestos law specialist Stephen Plunkett said the decision was “a blow” to present and
future asbestos sufferers in Australia.
One of Slater & Gordon’s greatest asbestos legal battles was waged against CSR in relation to their
involvement with the Wittenoom asbestos mine in Western Australia.
Mr Plunkett said that if the demerger went ahead there was a real risk that in the future CSR may not
have the funds to meet their asbestos liabilities.
“Just as what happened when James Hardie originally moved their operations overseas, leaving a
hopelessly inadequate fund to meet their future liabilities.”
“Throughout the history of asbestos in this country, victims have had to fight for compensation and
recognition that through no fault of their own their lives have often been prematurely ended because
they have been exposed to a deadly products and fibres at work or at home.”
Mr Plunkett called on CSR shareholders to “give due weight to moral, not just economic considerations”
when voting on the demerger.
“At this stage there is still no cure for asbestos related disease, with the number of asbestos victims
expected to peak in Australia in the next 20 years.”
Slater & Gordon conducted the first successful common law asbestos litigation case in 1984 and
created many precedents and has acted for thousands of people exposed to and diagnosed with an
asbestos related disease.
Stephen Plunkett, Slater & Gordon lawyer, (03) 9602 6906
Joanne Wade, Slater & Gordon lawyer, (02) 8267 0610
Established 75 years ago, Slater & Gordon has built a powerful reputation as a law firm which
fights for the best outcomes for everyday Australians. Today Slater & Gordon offers its broad
range of legal services at more locations than any other law firm in the country, delivering
affordable legal advice and justice to more Australians.