Andrea Boggio

Compensating asbestos victims



'Development of the law in [a] country cannot of course depend on a head-count of decisions and codes adopted in other countries around the world, often against a background of different rules and traditions. The law must be developed coherently, in accordance with principle, so as to serve, even-handedly, the ends of justice . . . In a shrinking world (in which the employees of asbestos companies may work for those companies in any one or more of several countries) there must be some virtue in uniformity of outcome whatever the diversity of approach in reaching that outcome.'
Fairchild (suing on her own behalf) Etc. v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd and Others Etc., House of Lords (Lords Bingham, Nicholls, Hoffman, Hutton & Rodger) [2002] UKHL 22 32 (June 20, 2002).

For the past few, I have worked on a project on the compensation of the asbestos victims. It turned to be a story about capitalism and about how different societies have used the law to create environments for economic growth that are different.

The study compared asbestos compensation in a number of industrialized countries. Comparative analysis shows that asbestos victims have increasingly sought legal redress by claiming compensation by using and expanding the appropriate mechanisms in place in each jurisdiction. Furthermore, while there is cross-national convergence towards an increased expectation of compensation, the mechanisms of compensation vary greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Economic and political developments as well as cultural differences in the researched countries explain both phenomena.


-          Comparative notes on the US Asbestos Trust Fund (2003)(pdf)

-          Research Statement (Stanford University 2001)

-          Dissertation abstract (Stanford University 2003) acrobat.gif

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