Way forward in Silicosis case

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The law firm involved in the Silicosis class action case has sought to explain the process going forward following the landmark judgment.

The Johannesburg High Court has ratified a R5 billion agreement with six mining companies that will see the compensation of thousands of miners, ex-employees and dependents of deceased miners for contracting tuberculosis or silicosis because of working underground in gold mines.

Alan Fine, communications specialist at Russell and Associates, says they first need to establish how many beneficiaries will accept the compensation before dispensing the money.

“We cannot establish the trust just yet, there is one more legal step that needs to be taken where according to the principles of natural justice. No individual can be forced to accept a pay-out in terms of a class action settlement.”

“So individuals do have the right to opt out if they so choose. It is necessary to go through that process for reasons of justice.”

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