Application for leave to appeal silicosis class action suit dismissed

The suit was brought by more than 50 workers and their families against a number of companies.

FILE: Supporters of the sick former mineworkers outside the Johannesburg High Court. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Occupational Lung Disease Working Group has lost its application for leave to appeal against a decision to allow former mineworkers to forge ahead with a class action suit for compensation.

In May, the High Court in Johannesburg delivered a historic judgment allowing miners who had contracted silicosis to seek restitution.

The suit was brought by more than 50 workers and their families against the working group which includes Anglo American, Sibanye Gold and Harmony among others.

Lawyer Georgina Jepson, who represents the miners, says the group has only won one of three appeal applications brought forward.

"The court has granted the mining companies leave to appeal on one issue only and that the issue relating to the development of the common law on the transmissibility of damages. But the court has denied the mining companies leave to appeal against the certification of the class action comprising the two classes."