Corby Borough Council has decided to appeal against the judgement in the case of children who claimed that their birth defects were caused by toxins released into the atmosphere during reclamation works on a former British Steel site.
Following a three month trial a judge decided that the reclamation works between 1985 and 1999 were capable of leading to some, or all of the birth defects displayed in 16 out of the 18 children involved in the case. This decision opens the door for each of the children to make individual claims for compensation.
The decision to appeal against the judgement was made by the Council at a special meeting on Tuesday 18th August.
Chief Executive Chris Mallender commented: “This has not been an easy decision for the Council to reach and has not been taken lightly. We are all too well aware that this on-going litigation is causing the children and their families continued stress and uncertainty. However, the Council has to balance this issue against its rights and duties to the wider population and to council tax-payers.
“In reaching the decision to appeal we have taken advice from our legal team who believe there are serious and significant flaws in the judgement which must be reviewed. If the judgement goes unchallenged it could have very serious implications, not only for Corby, but also for other local authorities who have redeveloped industrial sites in the past, or who are planning redevelop of brownfield sites in the future.
“Nevertheless, while continuing with the appeal we are quite prepared to consider ways in which we can bring the case to an end for the 16 claimants involved. This may be through independent mediation and we will be exploring this possibility with the families involved as the Council remains committed to reaching a conclusion to their individual cases as soon as possible.”