Former South Yorkshire coke oven workers in High Court battle

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Lawyers battling for justice for more than 350 former coke oven workers who developed cancers and respiratory diseases have reported to a High Court judge on their progress.

Solicitors representing the workers of families who lost loved ones who worked for British Coal and British Steel, who they say became ill after being exposed to dust and fumes, appeared in the High Court in London to announce they are contemplating group action against both firms.

Some of the families include those from South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Roger Maddocks, a specialist occupational disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The hearing at the High Court is another important step forward in the fight for justice for former coke oven workers and the families who have lost loved ones who worked at such plants.

“Through our work, we see far too many cases where people have developed serious and in some cases fatal illnesses as a result of the air they were breathing at work.

“All workers have the right to be able to go to work and return home safely.

“The risks to health from exposure to dust and fumes has been widely known for decades by those responsible for managing the coking industry and the extent of suffering caused to the men and their families is wholly unacceptable.

“Over the past two years, we have been working to gather evidence to ensure that the voices of all of those affected by this will be heard. 
“The hearing has highlighted the issues and the vital work which is being done and which we are determined to continue to ensure that our clients ultimately get the justice they deserve.”

Irwin Mitchell is encouraging anyone affected to get in touch.