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Industrial Diseases: Compensation

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to agree procedures for coal industry compensation claims where the Medical Disputes Procedure has been completed but subsequently further medical evidence has been obtained. (138414)

Such procedures (the Protocol for Collection of Additional Medical Records) have been in operation since 2003 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For vibration white finger services, similar procedures have been in place since 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) former miners and (b) members of families of former miners in (i) North Staffordshire, (ii) Newcastle-under-Lyme and (iii) the UK have (A) made claims, (B) received interim payments and (C) accepted final settlements in respect of compensation for (1) chronic bronchitis and emphysema or other respiratory diseases, (2) vibration white finger, (3) carpal tunnel syndrome and (4) pneumoconiosis; how much has been paid in respect of each category; and how many claims of each type in each area have yet to be settled in full. (138817)

Pursuant to the answer given on 23 May 2007, Official Report, column 1351. The entry in the table under VWF claims: the total number for claimants who have received an interim payment should read 64,868 and not 66,868.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many outstanding claims there are in relation to (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (b) vibration white finger for (i) living and (ii) deceased miners in Bassetlaw handled by (A) VDM/Vendside and (B) others. (138824)

The outstanding claims for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and vibration white finger (VWF) of living and deceased miners in Bassetlaw are broken down as requested in the following table:

Living

Deceased

Total

COPD

Total outstanding claims

755

902

1,657

Registered to UDM/Venside

127

15

142

VWF

Total outstanding Claims

529

59

588

Registered to UDM/Venside

53

18

71

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many miners and former miners have died before settlement of (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (b) vibration white finger compensation claims. (138825)

The numbers of miners and former miners who have died while waiting for settlement of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for vibration white finger compensations are shown in the following table:

Settled claims

Outstanding claims

Total

COPD

18,266

7,042

25,308

VWF

6,941

1,370

8,311

Total

25,207

8,412

33,619

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many miners’ compensation claims have been paid in part or in full by (a) the UDM, (b) Kidd and Spoor Harper, (c) Frank Allen Pennington, (d) Watson Burton, (e) Robinson King and (f) Oxley and Coward, broken down by parliamentary constituency. (139270)

A spreadsheet showing the number of miners’ who have been paid compensation in part or full by those firms who handled their claims, as requested, and broken down by constituency, has been placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to commence the pilot with the Law Society on advice for miners on complaints options for double-charging for industrial disease compensation. (139655)

The Department is currently working with the Legal Complaints Service and Legal Services Ombudsman to take the pilot exercise forward in the coming weeks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which 30 firms of solicitors have handled the greatest ill-health compensation cases settled via the fast-track for miners’ compensation. (139656)

The 30 firms who have settled most claims through the fast-track options are shown in the following table:

Claimants’ representative

Claims settled by fast-track

Beresfords Solicitors

23,671

Avalon Solicitors

13,546

Hugh James

10,105

Raleys Solicitors

9,819

Thompsons Solicitors

9,059

Browell Smith and Co.

7,664

Barber and Co.

5,556

Union of Democratic Mineworkers

4,653

Watson Burton LLP

4,223

Delta Legal

4,191

Graysons Solicitors

3,220

Ashton Morton Slack LLP

3,001

BRM Solicitors

2,553

Randell Lloyd Jenkins and Martin

2,109

Ingrams Solicitors

1,907

Corries York

1,900

Mark Gilbert Morse

1,890

Hilary Meredith Solicitors

1,742

The Legal Warehouse

1,726

Gorman Hamilton Solicitors

1,573

Moss Solicitors

1,409

Corries Solicitors

1,314

Kidd and Spoor Harper Solicitors

1,215

Birchall Blackburn

1,079

1 Legal Solicitors

1,027

Onyems and Partners

1,011

Bailey Bravo Jobling

932

Recompense Ltd.

812

Towells Solicitors

760

Wake Smith

742