Tea pickers’ Scottish compensation case on hold
At the Court of Session, James Finlay Kenya Ltd (JFK) is fighting a multi-million pound damages claim.
The workers have been told to seek redress in Kenya before the Scottish case can proceed.
There are now 3,700 Kenyans involved in the case, according to their lawyers.
An appeal to the UK Supreme Court is being considered.
JFK, registered in Aberdeen, is one of the world’s top tea suppliers.
Initially, the action was part of a multi-national operation whose roots can be traced back to a company founded in 1750 by Glasgow textile merchant James Finlay. In Kenya’s Kericho region, workers claim they suffered musculoskeletal injuries as a result of their working conditions.
As part of a class action lawsuit, they filed what is known as group proceedings in the Scottish legal system.
It has argued throughout the action that JFK has no connection to Scotland, other than its registered historical address, and that the claims should be handled in Kenya.
Scottish Court of Session judge Lord Weir ruled earlier this year that the case should proceed.
JFK’s lawyers challenged that decision in the Inner House of the Court of Session.
For now, the Inner House has decided to “sisted” the cause, which means it will not move forward.