Anglo American SA has concluded an agreement which resolves fully and finally 23 stand-alone silicosis claims instituted against it.
Although the terms of the agreement remain confidential, Richard Meeran, who initiated the suit in 2004, said he and his clients were “very happy” with the deal. “This settlement today shows that the writing is on the wall for the industry,” the lawyer told journalists at a news conference in Johannesburg.
Of the 23 initial claimants, eight have already died of silicosis. Anglo American South Africa is just one of a number of companies facing class action litigation in the High Court involving some thousands of former mine workers.
“Anglo American South Africa believes that agreeing to settle this long-standing litigation is in the best interests of the plaintiffs, their families, Anglo American South Africa and its wider stakeholders,” Khanyisile Kweyama, executive director of Anglo American South Africa.
“We continue to work with industry, government and civil society to tackle the many challenges of primary health care in South Africa. Our collective objective is to significantly improve the access and quality of care available to all South Africans as well as ensuring a healthy and safe working environment for all our employees.”