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British nuclear veterans set back, for now, by court ruling

The High Court in London ruled Monday that just one out of 10 test cases, representing more than 1,000 claimants, was entitled to proceed to a full trial. The remaining nine cases had been launched outside a legal time limit, it said….However, lawyers for the claimants indicated that they would take the case to the Supreme Court in Britain.

British government wins partial victory in nuclear test claim case, Monsters and Critics, Nov 22, 2010, London – The British government Monday claimed a partial victory in a long-running legal battle over compensation for ex- servicemen involved in 1950’s nuclear tests in Australia.

The High Court in London ruled Monday that just one out of 10 test cases, representing more than 1,000 claimants, was entitled to proceed to a full trial. The remaining nine cases had been launched outside a legal time limit, it said.

In June, 2009, a High Court judge had ruled that 10 test cases out could proceed to full trial. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) challenged the ruling on technical, statute-related grounds

 

The servicemen blame their ill-health, including cancer, skin defects and fertility problems, on their involvement in Britain’s nuclear tests on the Australian mainland, on the Monte Bello islands and on Christmas Island, between 1952 and 1958.

The case that will be allowed to proceed to trial is that of Bert Sinfield, who is no longer alive.

The High Court judges said that they had declined to exercise their discretion in the veterans’ favour because they had no evidence by which they could hope to prove that their illnesses had probably been caused by radiation exposure.

However, lawyers for the claimants indicated that they would take the case to the Supreme Court in Britain.

‘We are digesting the full judgment and anticipate making an application to the Supreme Court to overturn today’s decision,’ solicitor Neil Sampson said.

‘This is so that the nine claimants who the court has said are time barred can proceed together with any others in the claimant group who may fall within the same categories as those the court has barred,’ he said.

British government wins partial victory in nuclear test claim case – Monsters and

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November 23, 2010 - Posted by | Legal, UK | , , , , , ,

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