Supreme Court of Denmark will hear critical case on compensation for asbestos victims

Fri, Feb 6, 2015


Kathleen Ruff,

Continuing denial of justice to asbestos victims

Workers in Denmark and elsewhere were betrayed by asbestos companies, like Eternit, and by government regulatory authorities, when, for decades, both industry and government knowingly exposed the workers to harm from a deadly substance, asbestos.

Today, government and industry continue to betray workers by unjustly denying them compensation for the harm they suffered. One ploy used is to deny compensation by blaming all the harm on smoking by workers.

The medical evidence shows that if a person who smokes is also exposed to asbestos, the person’s risk for contracting lung cancer is increased 20-50 times.

In a presentation at the Copenhagen Asbestos Symposium, Dr. Poul Frost, Department of Occupational Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, reported how the Appeals Board of the National Board of Industrial Injuries is ignoring the medical evidence and taking a case right up to the Supreme Court of Denmark in its efforts to deny compensation to workers who smoked.

You can read Dr. Frost’s presentation here: Recognition of Asbestos-related Lung Cancer.

Exposure to Asbestos in Denmark Today

In his presentation at the symposium, Hasse Mortensen described the ways in which workers and citizens in Denmark can be exposed to asbestos today and what regulations are in effect to protect workers and citizens from harm. You can read his presentation here: Exposure to Asbestos in Denmark Today.

Economy or Human Life? The Danish Asbestos Story, 1940-1986

Prof. Kurt Jacobsen from the Centre for Business History made a presentation, Economy or Human Life? The Danish Asbestos Story, 1940-1986, at the symposium. Prof. Jacobsen documented the appalling history of how Eternit and the Danish Working Environment Authority lied to workers and suppressed information about the lung diseases workers were experiencing. Prof. Jacobsen has reported this damning historical information in detail in the book, Eternit and the Great Asbestos Trial.

Just as it did in Denmark in the past, the asbestos industry, with the collusion of government authorities, continues to harm workers and populations today, particularly in Asia.



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