Given the existing trends relating to asbestos-related claims in Spain and the current medical statistics for the incidence of asbestos-related diseases, it seems to be evident that, in the near future, claims relating to damage to health as a result of the asbestos exposure will increase considerably.
The impact of these claims is likely to be pronounced, especially in the context of litigation concerning occupational and environmental exposure to asbestos.
In fact, Spanish Courts have already heard claims for compensation for diseases caused as a result of asbestos exposure. The best known case, due to the high number of claims involved, has been the one affecting URALITA, S.A., which is still receiving complaints from affected people.
In this regard it should be noted that, until 2010, the Spanish Courts had only heard claims for asbestos-related occupational disease brought by those who had had a contractual relationship with the defendant (for example, employees). However, in 2010 a group of "environmentally affected persons" filed a lawsuit against URALITA, S.A. claiming for compensation for diseases that they claimed had been caused by them breathing the polluted air of the places where URALITA's factories were located. These claimants had not worked or had any contractual relationship with URALITA, but rather were residents of the cities in which the factories were based.