Patrick Over appeared in the first jury verdict in a mesothelioma case in Victoria for over a decade. He appeared as junior to Mr Stanley QC.
Mr King alleged in the proceeding that Amaca Pty Ltd (formerly known as James Hardie) had negligently exposed him to asbestos dust and fibres when he visited one of its factories in Perth in 1972 on three occasions for a total of six hours, and that the negligent exposure had caused or materially contributed to him contract mesothelioma.
Before trial, Amaca had applied to dispense with the jury but his Honour Justice Kyrou refused the application: King v Amaca Pty Ltd  VSC 433.
The trial ran for eight days. The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff for $1,150,000, which included $730,000 for Mr King’s pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life .
Amaca Pty Ltd applied to set aside the verdict and to have judgment entered for it. His Honour Justice Kyrou refused the application holding, despite Amaca’s claims to the contrary, that there was evidence for the jury to find that Amaca knew or ought to have known in 1972 that there was a risk that of a person contracting a lung disease such as mesothelioma from short term asbestos exposure at the factory, and that the negligent exposure caused or materially contributed to Mr King contracting mesothelioma. The decision - in King v Amaca Pty Ltd  VSC 422 - contains a concise summation of the evidence and arguments of the parties on these issues.