The Herald Sun (10/11/14) reports that at least 16 people who grew up within one kilometer of the factory have died from diseases linked to asbestos exposure, with another eight diagnosed with similar diseases. The youngest to have died so far was only 42 years old. He was exposed to asbestos while walking to and from school and playing in asbestos waste. According to the reports, from the 1950s to the 1970s, residents would see asbestos blowing with the clouds, while cars would be covered in white powder.
Children rode their bikes through the area, sometimes riding over ground covered in asbestos fibers. In the one-kilometer area near the factory, approximately 4,000 people live in around 2,000 homes. One asbestos victim reportedly wrote that neighborhood children would play in piles of “snow” and throw asbestos at each other.
Following a report from the Herald Sun, authorities in Australia said they would investigate and clean up the contaminated areas.
READ MORE ASBESTOSIS LEGAL NEWS
One such lawsuit was filed by Brett Walker against Ford Motor Co. According to court documents, an Ohio court recently affirmed a jury verdict in favor of Walker, who alleged he developed asbestosis and Hodgkin’s lymphoma from working for Ford from the 1970s to the 1990s. The court’s ruling means Walker is eligible to participate in Ohio’s workers’ compensation system for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His claim for compensation benefits had previously been denied.
The lawsuit is Brett H. Walker vs. Ford Motor Co., Et Al., case number CV-10-717986, Ohio Court of Appeals.