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Criminal investigation follows report on asbestos compensation fund

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 30 September 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:762
  1. Bob Burton
  1. Canberra

    A commission of inquiry in Australia has found that James Hardie Industries, a company that made building products containing asbestos until 1987, deliberately underfunded a victims' compensation fund when it undertook a corporate restructuring that limited its asbestos liabilities.

    In his report Commissioner David Jackson QC wrote: “The notion that the holding company would make the cheapest provision thought ‘marketable’ in respect of those liabilities so that it could go off to pursue other more lucrative interests insulated from those liabilities is singularly unattractive. Why should the victims and the public bear the cost not provided for?”

    In February 2001 the company provided $A292m …

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