A case battling for former British Coal workers who suffered from cancer and respiratory diseases has been heard by a High Court judge.
Lawyers representing more than 350 former British Coal coke oven workers from across the region, who developed lung and skin cancers plus respiratory diseases, as well as families who lost loved ones, have today had their application for a Group Litigation Order (GLO) heard by the Senior Master of the High Court.
Expert law firms Irwin Mitchell and Hugh James applied for the Group Action claim against British Coal, Coal Products Limited and National Smokeless Fuels Limited after hundreds of workers suffered illness following exposure to dust and fumes at a number of coking plants around the country, including in Scotland, the North East, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and South Wales.
The senior master indicated in open court that she agreed a GLO was appropriate and that it would be made, subject to the approval of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.
If approved, the cases will be listed for a case management conference.
Roger Maddocks, a partner and expert industrial illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The hearing today at the High Court is an extremely important milestone and moves the victims and their families a further step closer to securing the justice they deserve concerning exposure harmful fumes at a number of coking plants around the UK.”
Irwin Mitchell and Hugh James are also currently investigating several hundred similar claims for former British Steel employees and similar action is contemplated in respect of their claims shortly.
Kathryn Singh, partner and expert in industrial illness claims at Hugh James solicitors, which is handling 200 Welsh claims, commented: “Today’s hearing is a hugely important stage in getting redress for those affected by illness following exposure to dust and fumes at a number of coking plants around the UK, including South Wales.
“If approved, the case will be listed for a further hearing for case management of the litigation and we are waiting confirmation of the position and a hearing date.”