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Coal Mining Contractors v (1) Davies (2) Department of Trade & Industry

It had been a correct exercise of discretion not to join coal-mining contractors to proposed group litigation between coal-miners and the Department of Trade and Industry.

3 November 2006

The appellant coal-mining contractor companies (C) appealed against the decision of the county court judge not to join C to intended proceedings between the respondent coal-miners (D) and the Department of Trade and Industry. D were five miners who intended to bring proceedings against the department as the successor of the National Coal Board and British Coal Corporation (together British Coal) alleging liability for chronic knee injuries that they had suffered as miners. The judge had made a group litigation order covering common or related issues of fact or law. During the relevant period over which it would be asserted by miners that they had contracted a chronic knee injury, British Coal had employed contractors and, during the relevant period, many miners were employed both by British Coal and by such contractors, including C. D did not intend to join C as defendants in the proceedings, because their advisers took the view that they had a case against British Coal whether Brit...

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