Former Corby British Steel workers suffering from life-limiting and debilitating respiratory diseases or squamous cell skin cancer have five months to register to join a group taking legal action.
The group action comes after hundreds of people developed conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, temporary exacerbation of asthma and lung cancer, which are likely to have been caused by exposure to harmful fumes while working at coking plants in the immediate vicinity of the coke ovens.
A deadline of February 23, 2018, was set by the High Court this week follows its approval of a group litigation order (GLO) in January 2017.
In Northamptonshire, Irwin Mitchell are acting for a number of former British Steel workers from the Corby Glebe and Corby Deene plants.
Lawyers are urging people affected to contact them before the deadline as people won’t be able to take action after it has passed.
Roger Maddocks, partner and expert industrial disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The approval of the GLO by the High Court, and the admission of liability, were extremely important milestones and moved the victims and their families a further step closer to securing the justice they deserve concerning the exposure to harmful fumes decades ago at a number of coking plants around the UK.
“The workers we represent, through no fault of their own, developed serious, and in some cases fatal, respiratory illnesses and lung cancers causing them unnecessary pain and suffering when they should be enjoying their later life with their families.
“Nothing can turn back the clock but this legal action will hopefully provide them with the help, support and treatments needed to make dealing with their illness more comfortable.
“However, with the court now setting this deadline for workers to sign up we would urge anyone else who feels they were affected by the working conditions at British Steel to come forward so that they too can join the group action and ensure they do not miss out on the justice they deserve.”
Insurers for British Steel have already admitted it was in breach of its duty owed to its employees from 1947 until appropriate respiratory protection was provided to the workforce.
Since the High Court gave approval for the group claim in January 2017, more former workers in England have come forward to potentially join the group action.
To register, contact Irwin Mitchell here.