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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Ongoing Asbestos Industry – Asbestos Fiber Mining in Canada, Problems at an Ongoing Asbestos-

Google today dragged up three related stories. One is this relatively detailed article on efforts to continue asbestos-mining in Canada – a topic covered here before, and by Jon Stewart and the team of The Daily Show. The basic thesis of the would-be miner is that "controlled use" is just fine.

The related article is here. It’s an article from a newspaper in Sri Lanka regarding an asbestos cement factory. According to the article, the local factory suffered a breakdown which distributed factory dust over the surrounding community. For grins, I googled the factory. The Mascons website is here. This page displays a wide range of asbestos-cement products it’s been producing since 1956. This page shows the inside of the plant. Apparently related companies grow tea and grow roses and other flowers. It’s an interesting world out there. Mascons probably does not consider itself a future asbestos-defendant.

Finally, there’s this article on asbestos-related litigation – in Scotland – arising from a renovation project gone bad. The "greedy plaintiff" (humor intended) is an order of monks which filed suit to recover expenses incurred to clean up an asbestos mess that arose after a renovation project disturbed in-place asbestos-containing materials connected to their chapel.

Risks and realities end up being balanced, and present jobs and goods carry benefits that some see as outweighing long term risks for which they may or may not have to pay. One wonders, for example, if the Sri Lankan factory owner has insurance, and if it contains an asbestos-exclusion. What about coverage for future "premises liability" claims ? And, for those thinking in detail about future litigation, here’s what Wikipedia provides for an overview of law in Sri Lanka:

"Judicial: Sri Lanka’s judiciary consists of a Supreme Court – the highest and final superior court of record,[209] a Court of Appeal, High Courts and a number of subordinate courts. Its highly complex legal system reflects diverse cultural influences.[210] The Criminal law is almost entirely based on British law. Basic Civil law relates to the Roman law and Dutch law. Laws pertaining to marriage, divorce, and inheritance are communal.[211] Due to ancient customary practices and/or religion, the Sinhala customary law (Kandyan law), theThesavalamai and the Sharia law too are followed on special cases.[212] The President appoints judges to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, and the High Courts. A judicial service commission, composed of the Chief Justice and two Supreme Court judges, appoints, transfers, and dismisses lower court judges."

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