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So. Africa: Court decision allowing silicosis class action against gold mining firms to proceed gives hope for compensation to miners

"South African miners given hope in battle for lung damage payouts", 20 Jun 2016

Vuyani Elliot Dwadube…came from his home in a village hundreds of miles away to work in the gold mines of South Africa’s Free State…

His demands are straightforward: he wants fair compensation from his former employers for the damage done to his lungs during the years he spent drilling ore in narrow tunnels deep underground.

Dwadube suffers from silicosis, scarring of the lungs caused by fine dust inhaled underground…

A groundbreaking court decision last month brought new hope to men such as Dwadube. A South African judge said human rights lawyers could launch an unprecedented “class action” that, if successful, would force more than 30 mine companies to pay compensation to everyone they have employed since 1965 who has had silicosis…[The companies have appealed the decision]

Some mining houses recognise that current compensation for victims of silicosis is inadequate and are eager to reach a settlement, said Alan Fine, a spokesman for six gold companies…shortly after the court decision to allow collective action was made public…

 

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