Occupational exposure to asbestos: mortality and liability issues arising in Hong Kongs shipping industry
Price, R & Burke, J 2012, 'Occupational exposure to asbestos: mortality and liability issues arising in Hong Kongs shipping industry', Air & Water Borne Diseases, vol. 1, no. 1.
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This article evaluates a range of legal responses to issues of causation and compensation arising out of occupational malignant mesothelioma claims. A survey of the common law in the United Kingdom leads to an assessment of the law and policy settings which Hong Kong should adopt in relation to these issues. It is argued that Hong Kong is underprepared for the steep rise of asbestos-related litigation on the way to its shores and that the absence in Hong Kong of local common law on mesothelioma liability means that it will draw on English approaches which are, themselves, unsatisfactory and unsuitable to local conditions. In particular, is argued that (1) the high sympathy culture toward patients in Hong Kong’s healthcare system and (2) the high level of personal and corporate bankruptcy mean that stringent English compensation approaches to mesothelioma in cases of pre-cursor conditions and multiple employer apportionment of liability (respectively) are not a good fit for Hong Kong.