12 November 2001
Go-ahead granted for OP dip claims

By Isabel Davies

FARMERS who believe they were poisoned by organophosphate sheep dips have been given the go-ahead to continue with claims for damages.

At a hearing in the High Court on Friday (9 November) a judge refused to “strike out” claims despite an application by agrochemical companies.

Mr Justice Morland issued his judgement in a preliminary hearing in the multi-party action brought by farmers and farm workers poisoned by OPs.

Most claims brought against the agrochemical firms survived a review after a significant challenge to the validity of the cases by the defendants.

Lis Charles of solicitors Gabb & Co, lead solicitor for the claimants, said she was, on balance, pleased with the judgement.

Despite everything the defendants had to say to Mr Justice Morland we are pleased that the majority of the cases have survived, she said.

We are now applying ourselves to dealing with those observations that the Judge has made with a view to bringing the cases to full trial as is possible.

The hearing was a result of applications made by the agrochemical companies in a process which has taken over a year and a half.

Ms Charles said defendants should think hard about the suffering and anxiety to which they have subjected claimants, many of whom are unwell.

These cases will go forward as individual cases but with co-operation among the claimants on issues of common interest, she added.