13 Apr 2009

Sydney woman gets posthumous asbestos win

7:29 pm on 13 April 2009

Decades of washing her husband's asbestos-laden work clothes killed Sydney woman Margaret Dawson, but in death she has won a landmark compensation case against her spouse's employer.

Mrs Dawson, who died last year aged 64, has been awarded nearly $680,000 by the New South Wales Dust Diseases Tribunal, after taking legal action against the building materials group James Hardie.

She claimed that 20 years of washing her husband Maurice's work clothes led to her contracting the fatal asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma.

Mrs Dawson's daughter, Corina Novek, says the victory is bitter-sweet, but hopes it will make it easier for other affected families to claim compensation.

Mrs Dawson is survived by her daughter and two grandchildren.

The Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia says Mrs Dawson's tribunal victory has opened the door for carers to claim compensation.