Top lawyers launch PI case against British Coal

SOME of the top names in personal injury law have lined up in court for the start of the test cases which are being brought by nine miners against British Coal after they suffered “vibration white finger”.

The hearing began last week into the men's claim that they suffered from the condition after being exposed to vibrations and grinding tools in British Coal workshops.

Their cases were brought by the British Coal Vibration White Finger Litigation Solicitors' Group. The actions are expected to end with a ruling which will affect more than 500 cases.

The group's steering committee consists of law firms Irwin Mitchell, of Sheffield, Brian Thompson & Partners and Watson Burton, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Thompson, of Sunderland, and Hugh James Jones Jenkins, of Merthyr Tydfil.

John Hendy QC is representing the plaintiffs with Christopher Carling and Ian Scott, all of Old Square Chambers. Hendy, an employment and trade union specialist, represented the plaintiffs for the Camelford water poisoning action.

British Coal's case is being presented by Richard Maxwell QC with Robert Owen and Catherine Foster, all of Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham. Solicitors are Nabarro Nathanson.