Through absolutely no fault of their own, hundreds of hard-working Australians are diagnosed with asbestos diseases each year. Almost always people diagnosed with an asbestos disease have a strong and straightforward legal claim. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos disease you should quickly consult an experienced asbestos lawyer.

When you do, ask about that lawyer’s:

  • Experience
  • Trial history
  • Fee structure

Rightside Lawyers have resolved hundreds of asbestos claims without having to go to trial. It is almost always a speedy, efficient process. But asbestos defendants know we can wield a big stick – we have won asbestos trials in Victoria and Western Australia. We guarantee a strong, personal approach with minimum disruption to you and your family. You may have worked with asbestos, washed asbestos-polluted clothes, or played in asbestos as a child. But if you’ve developed an asbestos disease we’ll move very quickly.

We’ll work flat out to give you the best result as fast as possible. We’ll do the work on a no win no fee basis. In other words you don’t pay anything until you win. But we go much further. Unlike most firms we don’t charge a 20% or 25% surcharge on top of our fees. That saves our clients thousands of dollars compared to what they might otherwise pay. We’ll also cap our fees to give you certainty and peace of mind.

Contact us today for a free no-obligation meeting. We’ll answer your questions and clearly set out your options.

So that’s our promise to asbestos clients. No win, no fee. No surcharge or uplift. And we’ll cap your fees. Plus we’ll deliver a first-class, high-speed service.

*If talk about surcharges and uplifts sounds confusing here’s what we mean. Lawyers who work on a no win no fee basis are entitled by law to charge an uplift (or surcharge) on their legal fees of up to 25%. That’s supposed to compensate for the risk and cost of doing work on a no win no fee basis. And when the claim is over many lawyers do what they’re legally entitled to do. The fees are calculated and up to 25% added on to the top. At Rightside we won’t do that. We will work no win no fee and we will not impose an uplift or surcharge. Not only that, in many cases we are prepared to agree to a cap on legal fees to give you greater legal certainty.

Asbestos disease and compensation

If you have an asbestos disease you are entitled to compensation. Mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and other lung damage is caused by asbestos.

If you have been diagnosed with one of these illnesses, you should consult an experienced lawyer quickly, even if you are uncertain about when or how you were exposed to asbestos. It also doesn’t matter if you’ve smoked. Tobacco does not cause mesothelioma. And if you have lung cancer and a history of smoking and significant asbestos exposure, you’re still likely to have a claim.

Act quickly

In this area of the law, as much or more than any other, it is important to move quickly. If you or your family wait too long it can have a dramatic impact on the amount of money you may be able to recover.

After you contact us, we will come to see you promptly to give you obligation-free advice. We’ll talk you through the legal process and tell you how long it is likely to take, and what your compensation sum is likely to be. We have extensive experience and access to the best experts, so we can get your claim moving quickly. Even if you don’t know where you were exposed to asbestos, our experience and access to experts can almost always identify likely exposures.

We also understand the pressure you’re under. We know that focusing on your health is the most important thing – our job is to get you the best result quickly, with a minimum of fuss.

Why Rightside?

Rightside Legal lawyers have resolved hundreds of asbestos claims. We have also run claims to trial and to successful verdict in Western Australia and Victoria. Many lawyers claim to be experienced in asbestos matters, but ask any lawyer you consider engaging when they last ran an asbestos claim all the way to a successful trial verdict, and what they got for their client. Most asbestos lawyers haven’t run trials because they settle their claims without going to trial. In most cases, a settlement is appropriate, but your lawyer has to have the experience and skill to run your matter to a successful and appropriate verdict if necessary. Ask them about their trial experience.

Rightside lawyers Michael Magazanik and Grace Wilson acted in the most recent Victorian asbestosis trial to go to verdict: a successful 2015 claim for the family of a man who developed asbestosis after playing in asbestos waste as a boy in the 1950s at the back of the Wunderlich asbestos factory in Sunshine, Melbourne.

In your claim, Rightside Legal will work with you to thoroughly prepare your case. We’ll gather evidence from experts, witnesses, and historical documents. With the right lawyer, asbestos claims move quickly. But in the wrong hands, claims can drag on causing unnecessary stress during what’s already a very stressful period for asbestos victims and their families.

Asbestos industry in Australia

Asbestos is a mineral fibre which was widely used in Australia until relatively recently.

Asbestos was found almost everywhere up until the 1980s: in building products, insulation, car brakes, carpet underlay, cinema curtains and in lots of other unlikely places. The lawyers at Rightside Legal have acted in claims where asbestos exposure occurred in all sorts of circumstances: through play on a miniature railway as a child; through renovations in schools, homes and workplaces; through casual summer jobs; through living and working near notorious sites such as the Wittenoom blue asbestos mine.

Asbestos remains in hundreds of thousands of Australian homes, endangering unwary builders and home renovators alike. Nobody should ever disturb asbestos materials. It is a job that should always be left to experts.

TILUX-ad-panels-A3Two companies dominated the asbestos building products industry in Australia – James Hardie and Wunderlich. Both companies made many different asbestos cement products which are still in homes everywhere. James Hardie’s asbestos products included flat sheets (used in wall linings and eaves), Tilux (often used in bathrooms and laundries instead of tiles), Hardiplank (which looked like weatherboard), Coverline and Shadowline (building sheets with a profiled finish), Super Six (a corrugated sheet often used for roofs and fences) and a wide variety of pipes. All release potentially deadly fibres when cut or drilled or even smashed with a hammer.

James Hardie bought Wunderlich in 1977 thereby becoming a near monopoly manufacturer in Australia (Goliath dominated the small Tasmanian market). It was not until the mid-1980s that James Hardie removed asbestos from all of its products. This was many years after the risk of cancer from low doses of asbestos had been recognised.

Despite James Hardie’s reckless and negligent behaviour it was far from alone in perpetrating Australia’s asbestos disaster. In remote Western Australia, Australia’s sugar giant CSR operated a deadly blue asbestos mine through a subsidiary.

The mine, at Wittenoom in the Pilbara, operated from the 1940s to late 1966. Blue asbestos is the most dangerous of the various forms of asbestos and conditions at the mine and mill were atrocious.

Workers regularly worked without masks inhaling vast quantities of the extremely dangerous fibres. In this photograph, workers at the mill manually stuff blue asbestos into hessian sacks. (One of the customers for this asbestos was James Hardie.)


To make matters worse blue asbestos tailings from the mine were trucked to the town and spread over roads, gardens, the school yard, around the hospital and over the racecourse. In the years since, mine workers and their families, including those exposed as babies and toddlers, have steadily developed asbestos diseases.

Asbestos even featured in leisure activities. In the photograph below school girls compete in a sack race – sadly, they are using blue asbestos sacks from the mine and running on the asbestos polluted race track.

Asbestos-sack-raceAnd in this photograph, Wittenoom men compete to see who can fill a drum with asbestos waste the fastest. The clouds of blue asbestos are clearly visible.