Posted on July 6, 2018
By Francisco Báez Baquet
Acknowledgment: this article has been conceived and written, thanks to the valuable initiative, alert and cooperation of François Iselin and the Swiss association CAOVA (Comité d’aide et d’orientation des victimes de l’amiante).
On several occasions, the European Court of Human Rights has come to correct judicial resolutions adopted by various nations belonging to said supra-national jurisdiction: (1).
This Court, in its judgment of March 11, 2014 (2), considered that the applicable Swiss legislation, which provided for a limitation period of 10 years, was a harmful act, which violated the right of access to a court (ie , Article 6 § 1 of the Convention), given that it has been scientifically proven that a person is incapable of knowing that she is suffering from a disease, before the deadline in which all the latency time of the pathology has already elapsed suffered, which in the case of mesothelioma is of the order of several decades: (3), (4).
Hans Moor, who died of mesothelioma in 2005, at 58 years of age, was the first Swiss victim of asbestos, recognized by the European Court of Human Rights (CEDH). Born in 1946, Hans completed an apprenticeship as a mechanic-adjuster in 1964 at the «Oerlikon» machine factory (today, «Alstom SA»). He worked in «ABB Alstom» (formerly «Brown, Boveri et Cie.»), in the manufacture of turbines. He remained employed until his death, which occurred on November 10, 2005. From 1965, he worked as a turbine engineer and was also in charge of machine inspection, both in Switzerland and abroad.