Nater Dallafior successfully defended an entrepreneur against personal injury tort claims brought by the heirs of a person who died from asbestos-induced cancer in 2006

Nater Dallafior represented an entrepreneur whose family owned a factory that produced asbestos in the 1960s against a claim brought by the heirs of a man who died from cancer in 2006. The plaintiffs claimed that the cancer had been caused by the (alleged) asbestos exposition of the deceased during his childhood, when he lived together with his parents in proximity to the factory. They argued that the former executive acted negligently and that his heirs were therefore liable.

The main issue of the case was whether the alleged claims were bared by the statute of limitations. Relying on the Howald Moor decision of the European Court of Human Rights (application nos. 52067/10 and 41072/11), the plaintiffs argued that, since the (allegedly) asbestos-induced cancer developed decades after the asbestos expositions, it had been impossible to file the lawsuit earlier and that, therefore, the defendants could not invoke the statute of limitations.

The defendants convinced the Swiss Federal Supreme Court that the Howald Moor decision did not apply in the case at hand and that our client was allowed to invoke the statute of limitations.Decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court of 6 November 2019 in case 4A_554/2013 (to be published in the official gazette of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court as a leading case).

Media release of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court:

https://www.bger.ch/files/live/sites/bger/files/pdf/de/4A_299_2013_2019_11_22_T_d_16_00_54.pdf (in German);

https://www.bger.ch/files/live/sites/bger/files/pdf/fr/4A_299_2013_2019_11_22_T_f_16_01_07.pdf (in French).

The Nater Dallafior team included Roberto Dallafior and Simon Bisegger.