Sydney, Australia – Perhaps a silver lining is to be found in the 12 year struggle between James Hardie and former employees suffering from asbestos related ailments. When a landmark deal was approved earlier this year to create a trust to compensate victims a small clause was included that some of the money would go to fund research initiatives.
James Hardie Industries originally set up the Medical Research and Compensation Foundation in 2001 to compensate victims. However the chairman of the foundation Sir Llewellyn Edwards criticized the organization as being under funded.
No longer needed, it is being folded and it’s nearly $3 million in leftover fund will be combined into a joint project between the Australian government, Sydney University, and James Hardie called the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute. Interim director, Professor David Handlesman lauded the project whose initial goal will be to better understand how asbestos causes mesothelioma.
When it begins operations, it will become one of the few dedicated mesothelioma research centers in the world.