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Industrial Diseases: Compensation

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many claims for (a) miners’ hearing loss, (b) vibration white finger and (c) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were paid to residents of Houghton and Washington East constituency in each of the last six years. (250056)

The number of payments made for noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), vibration white finger (VWF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Houghton and Washington East constituency as at 18 January 2009 is shown in the following table:

Number of payments made

Claim

pre-2003

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Total

NIHL

181

55

32

48

20

0

4

0

340

VWF

581

200

211

145

240

418

118

0

1,913

COPD

470

539

783

1,597

1,290

774

284

13

5,750

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many claims for compensation for respiratory disease brought under the Coal Health Compensation Scheme have been settled under the fast track procedure (a) by way of expedited payment and (b) under the live optional risk scheme since 1 January 2004 in which Avalon Solicitors, Warrington, have been the claimant's representatives in each parliamentary constituency in respect of which legal proceedings have been concluded. (252425)

I am today placing in the Libraries of the House a table indicating how each of the settled claims for which Avalon Solicitors have been the claimant's representatives, were concluded, broken down by parliamentary constituency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what progress has been made in settling coal health claims for surface workers in the mining industry. (252854)

[holding answer 29 January 2009]: In February 2006, my right hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, North (Malcolm Wicks) as Minister responsible, undertook to look at any generic lessons that arise from the conclusion of a trial of a sample of “test cases”. Following a court order agreed in July 2007 this cohort of surface workers has now been narrowed to around 5,800 claims identified by solicitors of men who worked in Coal Preparation Plants (CPP) on the surface.

Four lead cases have been identified by claimant representatives and are now being progressed towards trial. That trial will begin in November 2009.