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Case study: Landmark decision for asbestos victim in Northern Territory


After a David and Goliath battle, the entitlements for sufferers of asbestos-related illnesses have now been confirmed in the Northern Territory. Shine Lawyers has secured a High Court ruling that will define the law and entitlements of asbestos victims in the Northern Territory, ensuring they can access compensation for their injuries.

The High Court ruling

Rio Tinto was ordered by the Northern Territory Supreme Court to pay compensation to a Shine Lawyers client who was exposed to asbestos while working in the Alcan Gove alumina refinery during the 1970s. Unwilling to pay, Rio Tinto appealed this decision to the High Court of Australia.

Mr Zabic's case

74-year-old Zorko Zabic was diagnosed with mesothelioma in early 2014. The High Court ruled in favour of Mr Zabic, finding that his mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure at Alcan Gove. The current owner of the operations, Rio Tinto, were ordered to pay $425,000 in compensation to Mr Zabic for the devastating injuries he now suffers.

Landmark decision for the Northern Territory

Shine Lawyers' National Special Counsel in Asbestos Law Roger Singh says the ruling will bring laws in the Northern Territory in line with other Australian states.

“Today’s decision is a win for workers, a win for their families and a win for humanity,” Mr Singh said.

“This landmark decision is now enshrined in law, reinforcing the entitlements of asbestos victims in the Northern Territory to access justice for the loss they’ve suffered,” he said.

Mr Singh said the landmark ruling could open the door for thousands of other asbestos victims to seek redress through the courts.

“This case is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

“This decision will pave the way for the many asbestos victims in the Northern Territory who have previously been denied justice to come forward and seek redress for themselves and their families.”

If you have been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with an asbestos or dust-related disease, you may be eligible to claim compensation under Australian Law. Register your details with Shine's Australian Asbestos Register, or get in touch with our Asbestos Law team for more information on asbestos law compensation.

Written by Shine Lawyers on August 4, 2017. Last modified: September 13, 2018.

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