So. Africa: Court allows silicosis & tuberculosis class action lawsuits against gold mining companies

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Article
13 May 2016

Silicosis Sufferers Deserve Justice Now

Author: Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA)

The decision by the High Court in South Africa on 13 May that a class action representing 30,000 ex- gold miners suffering from silicosis can go ahead is very welcome. It should lead to an industry wide compensation scheme for all with silicosis...

“Silicosis sufferers need and deserve justice now, I urge the mining companies not to seek to drag out the process. Many of those with silicosis also have TB and their health is deteriorating. If justice is further delayed it will be denied to many with silicosis as they will die before there is a settlement. The mining companies will be judged not by their words but by their actions.

“It is a scandal that workers were not better protected from the silica dust.  It is an outrage those with silicosis have had to take legal action to try and achieve what the mining companies should have provided many years ago, decent health care and compensation for all those with silicosis.”[said Tony Dykes, Director of ACTSA]

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Article
13 May 2016

South African court allows silicosis class action suit against gold firms

Author: TJ Strydom & Zimasa Mpemnyama, Reuters

South Africa's High Court on Friday gave the green light for a class action suit seeking damages from the gold mining sector on behalf of thousands of miners who contracted the fatal lung disease silicosis while working underground.

The court also allowed a class action to go ahead on behalf of miners who contracted tuberculosis in the mines…

The defendants in the case include Harmony Gold, Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold, African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) and Anglo American, which have formed the Occupational Lung Disease (OLD) Working Group to deal with such issues.

The suits, which have little precedent in South African law, have their roots in a landmark 2011 ruling by the Constitutional Court that for the first time allowed lung-diseased miners to sue their employers for damages…

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