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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

South African Violence Changes the Risks for Tort Litigants Involved in Claims in Africa Regarding M

(Photo by Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters, and published in the NYT)

Litigation risks are sometimes self-created, are created solely by others, or are created by a mix of circumstances. This week’s awful violence in South Africa illustrates the reality that litigation risks arise in ways that cannot be controlled by any one plaintiff or defendant. Specifically, South African police shot and killed 30 or more striking South African miners. Some stories say the shootings occurred after some protestors earlier in the week had hacked two policeman to death with machetes. Videos suggest the shootings were needless slaughter. Whatever actually happened, there are new risks and issues for both sides in the increasing volumes of tort claims involving mining in South Africa – see, e.g, here and here.

It bears repeating – no one is an island, and litigation risks are sometimes volatile for reasons beyond the control of any one litigant.

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