Attorney General John Hatzistergos today announced that the NSW Law Reform Commission would examine the laws relating to the payment of compensation to relatives. Mr Hatzistergos said some jurisdictions had enacted legislation to overrule the principle that compensation to a relative for pecuniary loss is reduced if general damages to the legal personal representative of the deceased have enlarged the estate and thereby increased the amount to be distributed to the relative from that estate.
"This principle is a long established one, originating in the United Kingdom under Lord Campbellâs Act in the 1800s and being upheld by the High Court in the case of Public _Trustee v Zoanetti _in 1945," Mr Hatzistergos said.
"The reforms have been proposed to the government by representatives seeking to better protect the interests of widows of asbestos victims, and the government will respond with a detailed analysis of the law in this regard, looking not only at dust diseases claimants, but those of other persons who have died as a result of some other negligent conduct", he said.
View the attorney's media release >
4 November 2010