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Industrial Injuries: Compensation

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to recover from Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith of Beresfords Solicitors the monies they accrued improperly in processing personal injury claims under the Coal Health Compensation scheme; and if he will make a statement. (250943)

Ministers have consistently demanded that solicitors who have unfairly taken a proportion of miners’ compensation repay the money. However, the issue of solicitor conduct is a matter for the Law Society and I welcome the progress being made by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) in investigating these cases. Once the detailed ruling of the SDT hearing into Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith is published, the Department will consider the issue further. The Ministry of Justice has helped to coordinate action to address this abuse and has taken action to ensure quicker redress of complaints in the future.

Both DECC and the Ministry of Justice continue to support the Legal Complaints Service in their programme to highlight the issue with coal health compensation claimants and Ministers will be meeting the Legal Complaints Service and the Solicitor Regulation Authority in March to review their progress on this important issue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much compensation for (a) respiratory disease and (b) vibration white finger has been paid in total to former miners in Wansdyke constituency. (251832)

The total amount of damages paid to former miners or their families for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is £4.2 million; and for vibration white finger is £8,550 in Wansdyke constituency as at 22 January 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what venues were used as health testing centres by his Department for the administration of medical tests under the coal health compensation scheme; and at what cost to his Department such venues were used. (252775)

The medical test centres used under the coal health compensation schemes are shown in the following lists.

the total medical costs for chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are £404.64 million; and for vibration white finger are £34.95 million as at December 2008. We are unable to breakdown these figures by medical test centres.

Coal health claims—medical assessments centres

COPD—medical assessment locations

Wrexham;

Swansea;

Stirling;

Ystrad Mynach;

Chesterfield;

Leicester;

Deal;

Manchester;

Ayr;

Carlton Square;

Lochore;

Mexborough;

Cwmbran;

Pontefract;

Trentham;

Wakefield;

Ammanford;

Durham;

Edinburgh;

Leigh;

Mansfield;

Cannock;

Cudworth;

Glasgow;

Gateshead;

Mountain Ash;

Stoke;

Leigh;

Barnsley;

Wrexham;

Newcastle;

Huddersfield;

Sheffield;

Coventry;

Salford;

Nottingham;

Newport;

Leeds;

Hamilton.

COPD—mobile test centres

Arundel;

Ayr;

Blackpool;

Bridlington;

Bristol;

Bury St. Edmunds;

Cramlington;

Coventry;

Didcott

Doncaster;

Dunfermline;

Exeter;

Gloucester;

Hertford;

Hessle;

Horncastle;

Isle of Wight;

Leicester;

Newquay;

Norwich;

Nottingham;

Poole;

Sheffield;

Stafford;

Sittingbourne;

Southampton;

St. Austell;

Winscombe;

Whitehaven;

Wrexham.

VWF—medical assessment locations

Barnsley;

Birmingham;

Carlton;

Derby;

Doncaster;

Newcastle;

Canterbury;

Manchester;

Mansfield;

Nottingham;

Sheffield;

Sheikh;

Stoke;

Wakefield;

Edinburgh;

Glasgow;

Cardiff;

Swansea;

London.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been paid by his Department to Nabarro Nathanson for handling issues related to miners' industrial diseases since 1995. (252867)

From April 1999 to October 2008, the Department and its predecessors spent £28.7 million + VAT in relation to Nabarro's fees across all mining-related industrial disease claims. But note this excludes all Counsel costs, expert fees, cost draftsman's fees and foreign lawyer's fees.