Asbestos Litigation

Pavlakis – Moschos & Associates is a leading law firm in Greece handling asbestos related personal injury cases. We have represented and successfully pursued the claims of workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung and intestine cancer, asbestosis, as well as their families, when these diseases have proved fatal. Our involvement included the handling of cases in following areas:

  1. All steam warships used by the Hellenic Navy for decades and having been conceded to Greece by the United States Navy after the war, had asbestos insulation to their boilers, engines, turbines, pipings etc. Τhe Greek Naval officers and crew who worked and lived and participated in repairs and maintenance of asbestos insulated parts of the ships, were heavily exposed to the damaging effects of this substance. Since the health damage due to asbestos exposure may not be diagnosed until after twenty or thirty years, it is only lately that these officers started presenting serious health problems, including asbestosis, lung and intestine cancer and mesothelioma.Our law firm has successfully represented and continues being involved in the handling of the affected Hellenic Navy Officers’ claims against the US asbestos containing equipment manufacturing companies and bankruptcy trusts.
  2. Warships have unfortunately not been the only ones where crews and passengers have been exposed to asbestos. The majority of commercial ships and passenger ships worldwide have in the past decades contained asbestos insulation materials in machinery, accommodation and kitchen and other areas and persons who worked in these ships have been heavily exposed to this harmful material, resulting often to serious health problems, which are diagnosed many years after the exposure. Our law firm has handled and we are presently pursuing claims of merchant shipping officers and seafarers who suffered mesothelioma or cancer due to exposure to asbestos while serving onboard commercial ships. The claims are pursued in Greek or in the most appropriate and beneficial jurisdiction, whether in Europe or in the USA, in collaboration with specialized foreign colleagues.
  3. Mesothelioma and other severe health problems, caused by the exposure to asbestos at work, are unfortunately not rare among seafarers, engineers, carpenters, electricians and other workers who have been employed at Greek Naval and repair yards and sites, such as Hellenic Shipyards at Skaramanga, Souda, Crete shipyard but also at various other industrial sites. Our lawfirm is expert in handling and pursuing such cases in Greek courts.

Illustrative Cases

In a case that has been successfully handled by our office, the Administrative First Instance Court of Athens awarded, by a recent decision, compensation for moral damages to a retired Officer of the Hellenic Navy, who sustained mesothelioma due to his extensive exposure to asbestos during his service on board several military ships in the capacity of engineer. It is the first award of this kind by a Greek court.

The Court ordered the Ministry of Defense, i.e. the Hellenic State, to compensate the retired Officer for the substantial moral damages that  he has suffered due to the irreversible and incurable damage to his health. The Court held that the Hellenic Navy was liable because it failed to impose and make sure that all measures were taken to protect the health and lives of the officers and militants in general and did not arrange for the timely removal of the dangerous and harmful asbestos material from the military ships.

A Greek seaman of the Merchant Marine, diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, received recently a considerable compensation in of his claims, which had been brought before the United States of America courts against the shipowners and manufacturers of equipment onboard the ships that contained asbestos.

The seaman had for many years served on board merchant marine ships and passenger/cruise ships, all over the world. His capacity as electrician obliged him to work for the maintenance and repair of equipment, in the engine rooms and the rest areas within the ships, which contained asbestos’ the seaman inhaled the asbestos fibers for years without being supplied with the necessary protection means and equipment.

 The Greek seaman presented mesothelioma many years after his last embarkation. Our office represented the seaman and brought claims against the responsible persons and entities, including his former employees and manufacturers of the asbestos containing equipment onboard the ships. More than 25 defendants have been sued, many of whom were established or situated in the US.

 After more than two years’ litigation on the motion filed by the defendants to dismiss the claim for forum non conveniens, the competent US court dismissed the motion and ruled for the plaintiff, after which an amicable settlement has been achieved, by force of which the seaman was paid a considerable compensation.

The Athens Court of Appeals upheld a decision to compensate the family of a deceased retired Navy officer / Engineer, who died in 2011 after lung cancer due to his long-term exposure to asbestos during his service in the Greek Navy. The Court ruled that the labor exposure of the retired officer due to the inhalation of asbestos fibers during the performance of his duties had as the direct result of causing his malignant disease in the lungs and subsequently his death.