Your fault, council tells James Hardie

Sarah Elks; 13/5/10

Ipswitch City Council has rejected James Hardie’s claims that the council is liable to pay compensation to former employees suffering from deadly illnesses caused by the company’s asbestos products. The Australian revealed in September that Amaca Pty Ltd – also known as James Hardie & Coy Pty Ltd – had sued the council to recoup $195,000 the company was forced to pay a former council worker now suffering from asbestosis. In its defence, filed in the District Court of Queensland last week, the Ipswich City Council claims it provided a “safe place of work” for carpenter Anthony Harry Cannon, who briefly worked for the council in 1976. The council claims it provided Mr Cannon with masks and respiratory protection and did not allow him to “engage in dusty work without ascertaining the nature of that dust and the dangers”.