An Australian mining company was ordered to pay a record $2.2 million to a man exposed to asbestos while working at a New South Wales steelworks who is now suffering from mesothelioma, according to the Associated Press.

BHP Billiton was ordered by the state’s Dust Diseases Tribunal to pay compensation to the former employee, who contracted asbestos mesothelioma after his exposure during two years as a laborer at age 19. The claimant, Steven Dunning, is now 54.

The Dust Disease Tribunal was established in the Australian state of New South Wales as a special jurisdiction for dust-related diseases like mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer that often strikes years after asbestos exposure. It is highly lethal and often doesn’t show symptoms until it has spread throughout the body.

In the United States, many workers have been exposed to asbestos, which was banned in 1979. Those at highest risk include:

  • Construction workers
  • Factory workers
  • Military service members
  • Railroad personnel

If you or a loved one have suffered from asbestos mesothelioma or another serious illness as a result of negligent exposure, contact our experienced mesothelioma lawyers today at 1-800-871-7397.