Australian Nuclear Veterans’ Hopes Rest On UK Court Appeal Which Begins In London Today.
PRESS RELEASE FROM STACKS/GOUDKAMP LAW FIRM NOVEMBER 16 2011
Hopes of more than 1,000 surviving Australian military veterans of Britain’s nuclear tests and their families for compensation for the terrible health effects of being exposed to radiation rest on a final court appeal in London which starts today.
Michael Giles of Sydney lawyers Stacks/Goudkamp is representing Australian nuclear veterans who will join the damages action against the UK Ministry of Defence if the appeal in London this week is successful.
Lawyers representing British nuclear veterans are appealing to a panel of seven UK Supreme Court justices to overrule an earlier decision by the UK Court of Appeal and allow all ten lead claims to go ahead.
In 2009 British nuclear veterans won the right to pursue damages against the UK Ministry of Defence for their health problems ranging from cancer to skin defects and infertility, some alleging these health problems were passed on to their families.
But this was overruled in the UK Appeals Court with judges saying the claims had been made too late, and that the veterans lacked sufficient evidence about the causes of their illnesses.
If the six Lords and one Lady of the panel overturn the UK Court of Appeal decision then damages claims will be launched in the UK High Court next year.
The hearing in London is expected to last three days.
The veterans and their families have suffered terribly from being exposed to radiation during the British nuclear tests at Maralinga and Monte Bello Island, but the governments of Britain and Australia have fought them all the way to deny them compensation, Mr Giles said.
The British government has spent over 20 million pounds fighting this matter. That money would have gone a long way to support these veterans.
Michael Giles is available for comment at (02) 4925 3355, and 0434 905 842
press release from Frank Walker
Media consultant to Stacks/Goudkamp and Stacks Law Firm
0417 090 346