Maralinga vets join British class action

Pia Akerman; 16/12/09

Australians exposed to deadly radiation in the Maralinga nuclear tests of the 1950s and 60s have abandoned plans to sue at home and will instead join a British class action seeking compensation for damage to their health.  Lawyer Tom Goudkamp said about 120 Australians, more than half of them widows, would file their own class action in Britain. Mr Goudkamp hopes to lodge claims on behalf of up to 250, a number that does not include offspring with genetic problems related to the atomic tests. “If we came to some sort of arrangement with the Australian government, then there wouldn’t be any need to litigate, but the Australian government doesn’t seem to be interested,” Mr Goudkamp said yesterday.