COURT APPROVES SETTLEMENT OF THE SILICOSIS AND TB CLASS ACTION
Johannesburg, 26 July 2019 – A full bench of the Johannesburg High Court today approved the settlement of the silicosis and tuberculosis class action suit. The settlement is between the Occupational Lung Disease Working Group – representing African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye Stillwater, and settlement classes’ representatives as well as the settlement classes’ attorneys Richard Spoor Inc, Abrahams Kiewitz Inc and the Legal Resources Centre.
Silicosis litigation started for the Legal Resources Centre in 2004 together with Legal Aid South Africa and Leigh Day and it has been 15 years of commitment from various lawyers and experts to achieve redress for mineworkers who contracted silicosis working on South Africa’s goldmines.
In particular, the LRC focused on the plight of the dependants of deceased mineworkers who had contracted silicosis. The LRC started with 13 class representatives. We lost 5 of those during the course of the litigation. Two in the last six months although their families remained intricately involved. While this is a big win after a long road, we want to honour the class representatives we lost. And we are very pleased that the settlement includes benefits for dependents of deceased mineworkers.
The LRC would like to thank and acknowledge the role that Legal Aid South Africa played in funding this matter. Without their unwaivering support from 2004, the LRC would not have been able to pursue this matter as doggedly as it did.
One further step that needs to be taken before the commencement of the operations of the Trust which will administer claims and payments to eligible claimants, is that class members need to be given the opportunity to opt out of the settlement. This is because the agreement acknowledges that no individual can be forced to forego his or her right to pursue litigation should he or she so choose.
Over the next few weeks court approved notices will be published and broadcast in newspapers in SA and other southern African countries, and on scores of radio stations in those areas. The notices will inform class members of their right to opt out. These will be published and broadcast repeatedly
For further information contact:
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