Under French law, the “anxiety damage” helps to indemnify the situation of permanent concern for the exposed employee, who is expecting to see the development of an asbestos-related illness. In April 2019, the Court of Cassation, in its most solemn form, decided to now open the possibility of obtaining compensation for this anxiety damage to all employees exposed to asbestos, and no longer only to employees who had worked in establishments appearing on a list that was set out by ministerial decree.
With this first expansion of the beneficiaries of compensation, the Court of Cassation has just decided a second one : the repair of the damage of anxiety can from now on be requested in case of exposure to pathogenic factors generating anxiety other than asbestos (electromagnetic fields, gasoline vapors, pesticides,…). As in most cases of mass litigation, the financial consequences can be potentially serious for businesses.
However, it is up to the employee to prove the harm he has personally suffered. The employer can be exonerated of its liability by justifying having fulfilled its obligation of security (for example, action of prevention of training and information).