On 2 February 2017 the High Court approved an application for a Group Litigation Order (GLO) that had been submitted by 325 former British Steel coke oven workers. Members of the group have either developed one of a number of life-limiting and debilitating respiratory diseases or are the family members of workers who have developed these diseases.
Hugh James has been appointed as lead solicitors along with Irwin Mitchell. No deadline for registering as a member of the GLO has been set as of yet and the claim is open to those who worked all the way back to the 1940s so any enquiries by former British Steel workers or their families are welcomed and encouraged.
Workers in the group come from across the UK and worked at British Steel coke sites including East Moors, Ebbw Vale, Llanwern, Port Talbot and Shotton.
We see the decision as a hugely important step in seeking justice for workers and their families who may have lost loved ones. The admissions by Tata Steel are encouraging and demonstrate there is a case to be answered but there still remain a large number of issues yet to be determined. With so many former workers suffering from debilitating illnesses including lung and skin cancers, as well as respiratory diseases, there are undoubtedly more cases out there beyond those we are already aware of.
Hugh James is representing 229 of the 325 claims, most of which come from Welsh cases, but with so many employees being affected over such a long period of time, there are undoubtedly more cases that could be added to the group.