Legal Abroad

Compensation for Asbestos exposure in France

Asbestos is a material that has been widely used in industry, construction, and other fields for many years due to its insulating and fire-retardant properties.

However, asbestos has since been linked to serious illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.

Workers who have been exposed to asbestos have the right to claim damages for injuries and illnesses caused by this exposure, as well as their family members.

If you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos and have developed an asbestos-related disease in France, you have a right to compensation which can be exercised in France.

Also, family members of the person who died as a result of exposure to asbestos have a right to compensation.

Who to claim compensation from?

The conditions for receiving compensation vary by country and jurisdiction.

In France, to be able to benefit from compensation, it is necessary to prove the exposure to asbestos, the causal link between the exposure and the disease, and the extent of the damage.

Time limits for acting may also vary by jurisdiction, but it is generally advisable to start proceedings as soon as possible, as limitation periods can be relatively short.


The action against the employer in France

Asbestos liability claims can be brought by workers who have been exposed to asbestos and have suffered damage as a result of that exposure.

In terms of asbestos, case law holds that the employer is bound by a safety obligation of result towards his employees and that he engages his responsibility as soon as a professional risk appears characterizing the employer’s failure to its security obligation.

The victim has a period of 2 years to bring an action for recognition of inexcusable fault against his employer, either from the date on which he was informed of the possible link between his illness and his professional activity, or from the date on which the work-related nature of the disease is recognized.


The action against the compensation fund for asbestos victims (FIVA)

In France, people suffering from asbestos-related diseases can benefit from compensation through the Compensation Fund for Asbestos Victims (FIVA), set up by the law of December 23, 2000, in view of the extent of the damage caused by asbestos and the inadequacy of the compensation allocated for occupational diseases.

This compensation fund is financed by a contribution from employers, insurance companies and the State.

The FIVA can be seized by any person justifying the exposure of the victim to asbestos and the consequences on his state of health.

It will then be necessary to establish the causal link between exposure to asbestos and the damage suffered as a result of this exposure.

The referral period is theoretically 10 years.

Referral to the FIVA is done by filing a regulatory form accompanied by several supporting documents.

The FIVA has a period of 6 months from its referral to send its compensation offer to the victims. If the FIVA does not make an offer within this period, or if the offer is insufficient, the victims have a period of 2 months to appeal to the Court of Appeal of their place of residence.



Asbestos liability actions are important in helping workers who have been exposed to asbestos and their dependents to obtain compensation for the harms they have suffered.

Due to the technicality of the procedures subject to strict procedural rules, it is necessary to be assisted by a lawyer specialized in personal injury law to compile your case and accompany you in all the steps to follow.

As soon as you become aware of your illness, it is essential to seek advice from experts in cross-border litigation to help you:

  • Evaluate the procedural options of your file,
  • Gather the necessary evidence for your case,
  • Obtain the best compensation possible.

Do not hesitate to contact Legal Abroad to tell us about your case.

Kathleen Doyeux


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