At least 10 “pathfinder” lawsuits over the devastation caused by the mica scandal will be filed in the High Court in the coming weeks.
The cases are being privately paid for by business interests in Donegal who are providing funding to cover the claimants’ legal costs.
A lawyer involved in the cases said he expected thousands of people to join the multi-party action.
The lawsuits come after a draft Government working group report last week did not recommend the full redress campaigners were seeking.
The report suggested a 100pc grant could only be made available for remediation work that does not involve full demolition.
But engineers are reluctant to sign off on houses that are partially remediated rather than demolished due to fears the destructive mineral may still be present in remaining concrete blocks and cause damage at a later stage.
A major protest pushing for full redress is due to take place in Dublin today.
Applications are expected to be made within the next month to enter the ten cases on the High Court’s fast track commercial list, which deals with claims in excess of €1m.
The lawsuits are being organised with the support of members of a campaign group called 100pc Redress, which is unhappy with the recommendations in the draft report.
One of its members, Shaun Hegarty, from Buncrana, Co Donegal, said it decided to move forward with legal cases due to concerns thousands of property owners will fall outside the grant scheme or will be inadequately compensated.
“There is no word [in the draft report] of commercial buildings, of apartment blocks, of farmers, of retail, of second homeowners, of pensioners with investments in two or three houses for their pensions,” he said.
Mr Hegarty also said the group had commissioned independent testing from recognised laboratories and discovered concrete blocks with 15pc mica content were being supplied as late as last year.
Four of the claims involve sums of around €2.5m, according to the law firm taking the cases, Coleman Legal.
The 10 cases involve private homes, rental properties, commercial properties and farm buildings. Nine of the claimants live in Co Donegal, while one lives in Co Derry.
The defendants will include quarry operators and block suppliers, Donegal County Council and relevant State bodies. It is intended that any grant a claimant may receive under the scheme soon to be put forward by the Government would be deducted from the sum sought by the individual in their legal action.
“We have already received several hundred applications to join and it is expected thousands will join, given the ease with which they can sign up and the fact they are not being asked to contribute themselves due to their circumstances,” said solicitor David Coleman of Coleman Legal.
Because class action lawsuits are not permitted in Ireland, each claimant’s case will have to be filed individually.
Mr Coleman said he was satisfied the cases would not fall foul of laws prohibiting third-party funding for litigation.
“We have satisfied ourselves of the source of the funds and that it is funded on a not-for-profit basis,” he said.
Homes in Donegal, Mayo, Clare, and Sligo have been affected by defective blocks.
According to the draft working group report, the estimated costs of remediation could reach €3.2bn.