Australia court: James Hardie executives misled victims about asbestos compensation fund

Author: Tanalee Smith, Associated Press, Published on: 23 April 2009

Ten former officials of building materials giant James Hardie Industries NV misled asbestos victims into believing the company had set aside enough funds for compensation, an Australian civil court ruled Thursday…[T]he New South Wales state Supreme Court said the ten had breached their duties…when they announced in February 2001 a fund that would provide certainty of compensation for those sickened by the company's asbestos products. Two years later, it was found the fund had a shortfall of more than 1 billion Australian dollars…On Thursday, the company announced it could not afford to contribute to the fund this year because of a cash crunch…James Hardie said the shortfall in the fund was "regrettable".

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