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Exorbitant costs for atomic vets seeking compensation

Nuclear tests victioms’ outrage as legal bill soars to 16 million pounds sterling Mirror.co.uk By Susie Boniface 13/12/2009

Lawyers have charged £16million in the battle to get justice for Britain’s nuclear test veterans.

The money has been spent by legal teams for the UK Ministry of Defence and the veterans during a fiercely contested High Court action. It means the final bill could be much higher than any com-pensation eventually received.

The revelation comes after a judge told both sides, who are meant to have been negotiating a settlement for the past six months, to start talks. Some 22,000 men, who were sent to Australia and the South Pacific to witness atomic bomb tests, allegedly suffered a range of health problems.

Many of the 3,000 survivors have joined together in a major legal case to sue the MoD for negligence. But the case has descended into farce, with the MoD claiming a confidential offer has been made, but vets’ lawyers saying they haven’t received one. The High Court was told on Friday that costs are already at £15m for the three-year case, with a further £1m expected to pay for an appeal brought by the MoD which will be heard in May.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/12/13/nuclear-test-veterans-outrage-as-legal-bill-soars-to-16m-115875-21893386/

December 14, 2009 - Posted by | Legal, UK | , , ,

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