James Hardie directors 'mislead ASX'

SEVEN former non-executive directors of James Hardie misled the Australian Stock Exchange about how much money was available to compensate victims of asbestos exposure.

More than 10 years after the construction products manufacturer set up a fund to compensate victims of asbestos exposure, the High Court has found that company directors misled the ASX.

A 2001 restructure of the company removed liability-stricken business units from the Hardie group, creating a foundation to fund compensation claims against the companies by victims of asbestos products.

A civil challenge the Australian Securities and Investment Commission brought against the Hardie directors in the New South Wales Supreme Court in 2007 was appealed to the state's Court of Appeal.

That court allowed the appeal to proceed, as ASIC had not called a crucial witness, which the court found that ASIC's case was "so diminished as to not have been proven".

The ASIC then appealed the case to the High Court, which made a decision today.

The High Court held that the seven directors of James Hardie had breached their duties, in misleading the stock exchange on the amount of money available to pay compensation to victims of asbestos-related products.

The court returned the case to the New South Wales Court of Appeal for "further consideration of remaining issues".

In a separate but related case heard today, the High Court held that former company secretary and counsel, Peter James Shafron, failed to discharge his duties as a company officer with the required "care and diligence".

The court held that Mr Shafron also failed to advise the James Hardie board that a study he commissioned to predict asbestos-related liabilities "suffered from critical limitations".

The ASIC will make a statement on the matter later today.

Topics:  asbestos, asx, high court, james hardie




Local Real Estate

finda logo
Featured Real Estate
PURRRFECTION IN WINSTON... $465,000...
House 5 2 2
STUNNING CONTEMPORY HOME... $479,000...
House 4 2 2
So many extras!!! $349,000
House 3 1 2
Beautifully Presented... Offers Over...
House 3 1 2

Featured Jobs

finda logo

Ipswich jobs listed daily


Featured Jobs
Diploma Qualified... Sadliers Crossing Full Time


Local Partners

LATEST DEALS AND OFFERS

Great Gardening...

Win a $500 gardening gift voucher
Learn More

Cars For Sale

Find cars for sale online now.
Learn More

Property Listings

Post an ad from $30
Learn More

Local Profile

Stay Connected

Get the news as it happens, in your inbox

You can change the newsletters you are subscribed to when you edit your profile

Edit Profile


Special Offers

Latest deals and offers

View today's ePaper!

Read the digital edition
Learn More

Horoscopes

Libra

No one can cramp your style today as the Moon and Mars indicate a strong drive to get mobile and physical. This is advisable. Someone is...

read more

Marketplace

Special Offers & Promotions

Compare & Save