Greek Council of State (Supreme Administrative Court) Decision No. 3041/2014: Award of €200.000 as moral damages to municipality worker who suffered asbestosis

The 1st Division of the State Council by means of decision no. 3041/2014 ruled that the municipality of Keratsini – Drapetsona should pay the sum of €200.000 as moral damages for the pain and suffering of a municipality worker who, in the course of his employment, contracted asbestosis (and subsequently died).

 The municipal employee was hired in 1979 as a cleaning laborer, and in 1984 was transferred to another department as a carpenter. During his work as a carpenter he was involved in the construction of the carpentry and the machine-shop of the municipality. The roof of the carpentry and the machine-shop were made out of asbestos slates (Elenit), and the worker – carpenter was involved in the cutting and placement of the asbestos slates. During the works no protective measures were taken (special uniforms, masks, etc.). The carpenter continued working in the carpentry for a period of 20 years. There was a request for replacement of the asbestos roof in 1990, but the municipality failed to make the replacement.

 The municipality carpenter was diagnosed as suffering from pulmonary fibrosis (asbestosis) in 2000, and filled a lawsuit against the municipality claiming for moral damages for the disease suffered as a result of his employment. Whilst the case was pending before the Courts, the carpenter died as a result of asbestosis, and the compensation awarded to him was eventually awarded to his son as the carpenter’s heir.