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South African Silicosis

Related Lawyers: Richard S. Lewis, Reena A. Gambhir
Related Practice Areas: Environmental Threats, Civil and Human Rights, Mass Torts and Public Health Threats

Hausfeld has been involved in precedent-setting litigation on behalf of Southern African gold miners who have suffered disabling lung diseases from underground exposure to silica including silicosis and pulmonary tuberculosis.  A groundbreaking settlement on behalf of these miners was announced on May 3, 2018.

This historic class action settlement, the first ever of its kind in South Africa, reflects more than a decade of preparation and litigation aimed at providing compensation to the goldminers who suffered from silicosis and tuberculosis over the last 50 years. 

In May 2016, the Johannesburg High Court certified the case as a class action against most of South Africa’s gold mining industry by a unanimous three-judge panel.  Extensive negotiations over a three-year period with the defendants resulted in this landmark settlement.  The settlement calls for the compensation of all eligible gold miners who suffered silicosis or tuberculosis, and sets up a trust to provide medical examinations of miners and compensation payments. Benefits for eligible miners will be in the range from 10,000 to 500,000 South African Rand.

Hausfeld, along with the South African law firm Abrahams Kiewitz Inc., first filed the case in August 2012.  

For more information related to the settlement, please see our press release

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