The lawyers who won a R5bn settlement for tens of thousands of former gold-mine workers with lung diseases have set their sights on coal companies. Richard Spoor, one of a group of lawyers fighting for compensation for former mine workers in gold mines suffering from silicosis and tuberculosis, said companies such as Sasol and Exxaro would be subject to legal action on a company-by-company basis. Settlement of the largest and most complex class action in SA was reached in Johannesburg on Thursday, with six companies making provisions for R5bn to compensate claimants numbering anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people, including widows and dependants of former mine workers who died of their lung diseases incurred since 1965. The agreement included a R370m payment to the lawyers involved in bringing the class action against 32 gold mining companies and an R845m payment towards setting up and administering a trust with a 12-year lifespan to trace, verify, assess and pay claimants. The...

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