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Big Firm Absolved in One of Africa’s Largest Class-action Cases 

A South African court has thrown out a case brought against the multinational mining company Anglo American on behalf of 140,000 Zambian women and children, who allege they have suffered lead poisoning from one of its mines. The lawsuit was filed in October 2020, accused Anglo American of negligence over its alleged failure to prevent widespread lead poisoning in the Zambian town of Kabwe, where its South African subsidiary is alleged to have played a key role in running a large mine from 1925 until 1974. Lawyers representing the women and children from the South African firm Mbuyisa Moleele and the UK-based Leigh Day, which made its name bringing human rights and personal injury cases, said they would appeal against the judgment. The lawsuit was filed in South Africa because Zambia does not allow class-action cases and lawyers are not permitted to act on a contingency-fee basis.