Works Depart­ment to pay €204,000 com­pen­sa­tion to fam­ily of de­ceased worker ex­posed to as­bestos

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Gabriel Schem­bri

The fam­ily of a for­mer gov­ern­ment worker was given a €204,000 com­pen­sa­tion to be paid by the gov­ern­ment Works Depart­ment Di­rec­tor as the court ruled that the ill­ness which led to the man’s death was caused by ex­po­sure to as­bestos.

The court heard how Mr Paul Pul­li­cino worked in a gov­ern­ment garage ser­vic­ing ve­hi­cles be­tween Novem­ber 1981 and Jan­uary of 1983.

As part of his work, the com­plainant used to be ex­posed to brake pads dust, which con­tains as­bestos. It noted that the fact that as­bestos was dan­ger­ous and could cause se­ri­ous ill­nesses was a known fact from the be­gin­ning of the century.

In his sen­tence, Judge Sil­vio Meli said the man was not given any pro­tec­tive vests.

Mr Pul­li­cino was even­tu­ally di­ag­nosed with mesothe­lioma (a type of can­cer as­so­ci­ated with as­bestos) in 2008. He died in 2010 at the age of 46.

In the case which was filed against the gov­ern­ment works depart­ment, Mr Pul­li­cino’s lawyers ex­plained that the ill­ness from which he was suf­fer­ing, was caused ex­clu­sively be­cause of the place in which he worked when he was much younger.

The court up­held this ar­gu­ment and added that his ill­ness was also caused by neg­li­gence and care­less­ness by the em­ployer, in this case, the Works Depart­ment.

The court or­dered the gov­ern­ment to pay €204,000 in dam­ages to Mr Pul­li­cino’s fam­ily.

Lawyer Joe Zam­mit Maem­pel ap­peared for the fam­ily.

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