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21 Oct 2015

Pete Lewis, GroundUp, on Daily Maverick (So. Africa)

So. Africa: Mining firms argue they cannot be held liable for compensating miners only affected by tuberculosis in lawsuit

“GroundUp: Mines not liable for TB, silicosis hearing told”, 20 Oct 2015

Mines cannot be held liable for TB, advocates for the gold mines told the South Gauteng High Court on Monday.  The court is hearing an application from lawyers for potentially thousands of former mineworkers with silicosis and TB.  The miners are asking to be certified as a class to claim damages from the gold mines…Arguing against certification of the class action on behalf of Gold Fields, advocate Willem van der Linde said on 19 October there was no necessary link between excessive exposure to silica dust and TB without silicosis…Van der Linde said age, alcohol use, HIV and smoking were significant risk factors for TB, and excluding these factors in each case in the class of mineworkers who had TB without silicosis would be an immense task.  He said that according to the World Health Organisation, South Africa had the largest TB epidemic in the world, driven by HIV infection… 

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)