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19 Okt 2015

Lwandile Fikeni, Ground Up (So. Africa)

So. Africa: Mining companies argue allowing class action lawsuit for gold miners affected by silicosis would be contrary to the “interests of justice”

"South Africa: Silicosis - Mining Companies Hit Back in Court", 16 oct 2015

Allowing the miners in the landmark silicosis case to act as a class on behalf of other miners would be contrary to the interests of justice, lawyers for the gold mining companies argued yesterday. The miners argue that the gold mines did not take the necessary steps to protect them from silicosis and tuberculosis caused by exposure to silica dust underground. They are asking the court to certify a class action which would allow them to claim damages on behalf of tens of thousands of other miners affected by these diseases…Representing Harmony Gold, Advocate Chris Loxton, said certification as a class action would not serve the interests of justice because the miners involved did not have the same history…The mining companies would also be burdened by a trial over facts and circumstances "pertaining to tens if not hundreds of unique mines, shafts and sections that they have never owned, operated or been responsible for," Loxton said…Advocate Fanie Cilliers, for Anglogold Ashanti, also argued that there was not enough "commonality" for certification as a class…

Part of the following timelines

So. Africa: Lawyers for gold miners affected by silicosis to argue before Johannesburg High Court why mining companies should be held accountable

Gold miner silicosis litigation (re So. Africa)