Lessons learned: judgment of Mr Justice Jay is a warning to Group Action solicitors
Earlier this year Mr Justice Jay handed down judgment in Saunderson & ors v Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd  EWHC 2264, dismissing all 20 test cases in this Group Action. The Claimants alleged that they had been exposed to clinically significant levels of smoke following an industrial fire at Sonae’s plant at Kirkby and had suffered personal injuries as a result.
The judgment is notable for its criticism of claims farming tactics deployed by the Claimants’ solicitors, with two referrals to the Solicitors Regulation Authority being made. It seems unlikely that the remainder of the Group, which comprised some 16,626 claims, will proceed to trial, the Court noting that “it would scarcely be proportionate to start examining even a handful of these cases… In my judgment, the Claimants’ chance has come and gone.”