Asbestikuolemaan perustuvan korvauskanteen vanhentuminen rikkoi EIS 6 artiklan takaamaa pääsyä tuomioistuimeen

13.2.2024 | Oikeusuutiset

Markku Fredman

Time-barring of asbestos victim’s case violated the Convention

The case of Jann-Zwicker and Jann v. Switzerland (application no. 4976/20) concerned the applicants’ relative Marcel Jann’s death in 2006 from pleural cancer, allegedly caused by exposure to asbestos from a period in the 1960s and 70s. He had been living in a house rented from Eternit AG in the immediate vicinity of one of their plants, where asbestos was processed. Criminal proceedings initiated in 2006 and civil proceedings initiated in 2009 (before and after Marcel Jann’s death respectively) were unsuccessful. The Federal Court ruled that the civil claims were time-barred.

In today’s Chamber judgment1 the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

  • a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial) of the European Convention on Human Rights as regards lack of access to a court, owing to the Swiss courts’ ruling that the limitation period had run from the time Marcel Jann had been exposed and so the claim had been time-barred, and
  • a violation of Article 6 § 1 as regards the length of the proceedings before the national courts because the Federal Court’s adjourning while awaiting new legislation had not been necessary.

Press release


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