Australian Veterans Of British Nuclear Tests Hopes For Compensation Boosted By UK Court Decision
PRESS RELEASE FROM STACKS/GOUDKAMP – 29 JULY 2011
The hopes of hundreds of Australian military veterans of British nuclear tests seeking compensation from the UK Ministry of Defence got a boost overnight after a significant victory in the British courts.
Sydney law firm Stacks/Goudkamp is representing hundreds of Australian veterans of the British nuclear tests at Maralinga and Montebello Island conducted in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Stacks/Goudkamp is pursuing compensation for the veterans’ ill health due to exposure to radiation against the UK Ministry of Defence. But Australian veterans are having to wait for the outcome of the British veterans’ lead cases before launching their own legal action against the UK Ministry of Defence.
Overnight lawyers for British veterans of nuclear tests seeking compensation defeated attempts by the UK Ministry of Defence to have their lead cases thrown out of court.
The UK Supreme Court ruled it will allow the veterans to argue their case that they are not out of time in bringing their action. Even if the veterans are successful and the Supreme Court allows them to go ahead, they will still have to argue their negligence case against a determined UK Ministry of Defence.
The victory provides hope to the 1100 British nuclear veterans that they will be able to proceed to the next stage in their long court battle – to provide evidence that veterans’ ill health including cancer, skin defects and fertility problems were related to the nuclear tests.
Tom Goudkamp of Stacks/Goudkamp said:
“The decision of the English Supreme Court to allow the UK veterans of Maralinga to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision against their claims keeps alive the prospect that these veterans, who have been so shamelessly treated by their own government, may finally receive the compensation they deserve.
“It also keeps alive the claims for the Australian veterans who have been waiting for the outcome of the UK case before launching their own class action against the UK Ministry of Defence.”
Stacks/Goudkamp lawyer Michael Giles, who is assembling the cases of the Australian nuclear veterans, is available for comment. He is in Newcastle, NSW.
Michael Giles (02) 4925 3355. Mobile: 0434 905 842
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Media consultant to Stacks/Goudkamp and Stacks Law Firm
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