Post by unknown Post by The Todal Post by unknown Post by The Todal Post by unknown
No, that's hogwash. It may work in a court where one can expect
every participant to be profoundly ignorant of oncology and
epidemiology but the chances of confusing asbestosis with a smoking
related disease are nil.
No, it isn't hogwash, but thanks for the input anyway.
Yes it is hogwash.
Post by The Todal
A person may have asbestosis - caused, of course, by asbestos - and
may also be a heavy smoker, and may develop lung cancer. You cannot
say, as a scientific fact, that the asbestos will then be the cause
of the lung cancer.
You seem to be labouring under the mistaken impression that
mesothelioma, small-cell lung carcinoma and non small-cell lung
carcinoma are the same disease and are, somehow impossible to
I haven't said that at all. I didn't even mention mesothelioma. We were
discussing lung cancer. They are quite different diseases.
Mesothelioma is a lung cancer. The plurae are as much part of the lungs
as the alveoli or the bronchus.
I very much doubt that any physician specialising in diseases of the chest
and lungs would describe mesothelioma as a form of lung cancer. They prefer
precision to terms which the layman can understand.
However, the point is perhaps academic. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer
which can be distinguished from other forms of cancer quite easily (though
sometimes only at autopsy) and is almost invariably associated with asbestos
inhalation. Any insurance company trying to argue that the most likely cause
was environmental exposure rather than inhalation from a particular known
source would be wasting his time, as the recent cases of Willmore and
Sienciewicz in the Supreme Court established.
Post by unknown Post by The Todal Post by unknown
There is no causal link between mesothelioma and tobacco
smoking. There is a causal link between mesothelioma and exposure to
Absolutely right, unquestionably. I don't like arguing when we agree on all
Post by unknown Post by The Todal
Or at least, the causation will often be doubtful and may depend on
how severe the asbestosis is, and even then the experts will really
No, that's the sort of bollocks that lawyers spout in order to get
their corporate client that failed to implement adequate protection
for their workers off the hook.
No, it's all about medical evidence.And the Helsinki criteria.
The Helsinki criteria have always seemed to me to be corporate
arse-covering. I've a low opinion of the asbestos industry, I have been
too closely linked to it, and have seen too many people die from it
From asbestosis and mesothelioma, presumably.
Post by unknown
regard is as other than a cynical bunch of money grubbers who, when
their practices were exposed in Canada then the UK, simply moved
production to the third world and lowered safety standards despite
knowing that the product they were making killed both consumers and
Who in particular? Cape Asbestos, perhaps? Turner and Newall? They made
the asbestos products but nowadays the vast majority of victims were exposed
not in factories and not when manufacturing asbestos products, but when
working as plumbers, carpenters and electricians. And the people being sued
are not asbestos manufacturers or at least only rarely. They are usually
building contractors, shopfitters, local councils, gas companies, water
companies. It isn't very fair to characterise them all as evil.
Post by unknown
Whereas it is clear that smoking in the absence of asbestos exposure can
lead to small-cell carcinoma that has no link to asbestos, it is also
clear that the occupational exposure to asbestos with or without
exposure to tobacco smoke also causes small-cell carcinoma but at a much
higher rate than in the absence of asbestos. The companies wriggle off
the hook on there claim of ambiguous causation.
They wriggle off the hook very rarely. Asbestos claims are generally very
easy for a claimant to win.
It is quite difficult to find reported cases about asbestos-related lung
cancer. Badger v Ministry of Defence was one.
The MoD to their credit admitted liability and the main argument was whether
the victim's history of smoking amounted to contributory negligence. The
judge found that it did. The judgment makes interesting reading. Few people
are aware that Enoch Powell was one of the first voices of authority to warn
the public of the link between smoking and lung cancer. But the doctors are
quite sure that smoking cannot cause mesothelioma, as distinct from lung
Post by unknown
Yet the shifty, lying
bastards know damn well that their abysmal safety standards have
resulted in countless cases of lung cancer and that asbestos multiplied
the risk of contracting lung cancer by approximately 16 fold in smokers
and closer to 100 fold in non-smokers.
The companies knew from the 1930s onwards that their product caused
cancer - they simply suppressed the research done by their own staff in
order to avoid having to make payments to the diseased and their
And all that is probably true, but the real culprits are dead or insolvent
or have pocketed their profits and disappeared. The legacy of disease is now
the responsibility of the organisations I mentioned above, not least the
local authorities. Anyone who contracts mesothelioma is asked to list the
employers who exposed him to asbestos and if there is a local authority
among those employers, it will be the local authority that gets sued and has
to pay the compensation, because the others will usually be long gone.