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Collins Solicitors to Feature in BBC Horizon Documentary Made by RAW For BBC2 About Landmark Corby Toxic Waste Case

Collins Solicitors is to feature in a new BBC Horizon documentary looking at the case of 19 young people who suffered significant personal injury as a result of the inadequate and damaging ‘clean-up’ of toxic waste at the former British Steel plant in Corby.

RAW was commissioned by the BBC to produce a documentary exploring this terrible tragedy, considered to be the UK’s equivalent of the Erin Brockovich case.

The documentary, “Toxic Town: The Corby Poisonings” will be shown on Monday, 23rd March 2020 at 9.00 pm on BBC2.

Collins Solicitors represented 19 victims and their families for more than 11 years, until the case concluded in April 2010.

The claimants were children born with significant disabilities, resulting from upper and lower limb defects. These lifelong deformities have had a severe impact on the lives of those children and their families.

The children were born to mothers who either lived in, or regularly visited, Corby from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s during which time the Council demolished, excavated and redeveloped the former Steelworks site.

Until its closure in 1980, it had been one of the largest steelworks in Western Europe covering 680 acres, with four blast furnaces and two coke oven complexes. Over the fifty years that the facility operated, enormous quantities of industrial waste had been deposited on the site.

Once closed, Corby Borough Council acquired the site for re-development. Before this could happen, the site had to be cleared and thousands of tonnes of contaminated waste removed.

However, the clearance operation was negligently managed and toxic waste was spread across the Corby area which led to a number of children being born with birth defects.

When a cluster of cases was recognised, the families came together – advised and supported by a team led by Des Collins at Collins Solicitors – to ultimately, successfully establish that the negligent clean-up was responsible for the birth defects, and to fight for an apology and compensation.

Until the case came to court in February 2009, they had waited many years for the opportunity to establish that the Council was responsible.

The programme will hear from a number of individuals affected, their families, experts and members of the legal team.

Des Collins, Collins Solicitors’ Senior Partner, comments: “This case concluded more than 10 years ago and ran for well over a decade before that. The right result was only obtained following years of concerted effort and, frankly, dogged determination on the part of the families.

The documentary will hear from those born with birth defects, and their families, and will show how this tragedy came about and the effects it has had on a large group of people.

This disaster should never have happened. But with the benefit of hindsight and with due consideration it is timely to revisit this chapter for the people of Corby, and to help ensure this can never happen again.”

Niamh Kennedy, Director of the documentary at RAW, added: ““This documentary is a definitive look at the ground-breaking legal battle, which identified a link between airborne toxins and damage to babies in the womb. It tells the incredible story of a group of mothers who refused to be silenced, and a landmark case with worldwide legal and medical ramifications.”

This documentary was made for BBC Horizon by RAW. It was commissioned by Commissioning Editor Jack Bootle.

For more information, please contact:

Des Collins, Senior Partner, Collins Solicitors, T) 01923 223 324, M) 07831 522 540 dcollins@collinslaw.co.uk
Danielle Holliday, Partner, Collins Solicitors, T) 01923 223 324, M) 07540 531 753 dholliday@collinslaw.co.uk
Will Hulbert, PR, T) 01603 431 936, M) 07774 108 699 will@hulbertandco.com