We will now be issuing monthly newsletters as a way to keep you updated as to any legal updates concerning asbestos disease claims and also Oliver & Co. updates.
The newsletter will be brief and to the point but please feel free to contact us should you require any further information or advice.
‘Mesothelioma Study Day’, Harrogate
Two members of our team recently attended the Lung Cancer Nurses & Thoracic Group Educational Event in Harrogate. The day was extremely informative, involving ten different speakers. The content considered all aspects of mesothelioma from both a medical and legal perspective.
Ms. Liz Darlinson offered an invaluable insight into the global effects of asbestos and mesothelioma. Astonishingly many countries still produce or import asbestos. Indeed only 18% of countries have banned the production and use of the material. Indeed the use of white asbestos was only banned in the UK in 1999, brown asbestos in its raw form having been banned in 1980 and blue asbestos, the most dangerous, in 1970.
It may come as some surprise that countries such as Canada and Russia are still producing many tonnes of asbestos each year.
As one of the major historical producers of asbestos, Australia has the highest incidence of mesothelioma sufferers.
At Wittenoom, a small village in Australia, thousands of workers and their families, visitors, tourists, consultants and Government officials were exposed to lethal levels of blue asbestos a thousand times higher than occupationally regulated at the time.
Mr Lang Hancock commenced mining blue asbestos at Wittenoom in 1938. He and his partners in time became one of the major miners and manufacturers of asbestos products in Australia.
The mining and milling of blue asbestos at Wittenoom has had a significant impact on Australia. The town itself is now a ghost town with only 6 residents. In December 2006, the Government of Western Australia announced that the town would no longer legally exist, and in June 2007, the Minister for Regional Development, announced that the townsite status had officially been removed. The town’s name was removed from official maps and road signs and the Shire of Ashburton is able to close roads that lead to contaminated areas.
The asbestos mining operations in the Wittenoom area and the resulting remnants of asbestos have already resulted in hundreds of fatalities among miners, residents and visitors to the town.
As a nation they are therefore at the forefront of research into the disease.
It is hoped that efforts into mesothelioma research in the UK will also help other countries who will continue to suffer the effects of asbestos exposure for many years to come.
A gentleman suffering from mesothelioma then gave a talk about “The Patient’s Perspective” and he explained how his suffering with the disease was affecting him and his family on a daily basis and with regards to consideration for the future. At 61 his daughters are both still in full-time education and he is struggling with the decision as to the right time to tell them.
This emphasised the personal tragedy behind this terrible condition and the impact of this disease on people’s lives. This is something that we at Oliver & Co. always keep in mind when dealing with the legal side of things. We hope our personal service to clients reflects this.
The day continued in the same informative theme. Talks included topics such as treatment options for pain relief in mesothelioma sufferers. Palliative measures together with operative intervention were discussed. This helped us as lawyers to gain a fuller understanding into the medical procedures which are currently being offered to patients.
Overall our Asbestos Disease Team here at Oliver & Co. benefitted enormously from the extensive insight into all the issues that arise for someone diagnosed with this terrible disease. We hope to join in future events to ensure that we are at the cutting edge of medical developments taking place in this area. This in turn will allow us to offer an even better service to clients.