British Coal workers who suffered cancer ‘step closer to justice’ in legal fight

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Dozens of former British Coal coke oven workers from South Yorkshire and their families are a ‘step closer to justice’ as their legal battle over work-related illnesses moves forward.

Specialist lawyers are representing more than 350 workers, including 50 from South Yorkshire and a further 35 from Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, who developed lung and skin cancer and respiratory diseases.

Their application for a Group Litigation Order was heard at the High Court, with it accepted subject to approval of the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.

If approved, the cases will be listed for a case management conference.

Law firms Irwin Mitchell and Hugh James have 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.

Roger Maddocks, an expert industrial illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The hearing is an extremely important milestone and moves the victims and their families a further step closer to securing the justice they deserve.”