VWF claims 'need fast resolution”

THE STEERING group handling a multi-party action against British Coal over the industrial disease Vibration White Finger has called for a speedy resolution of compensation claims.

Last week The Vibration White Finger Litigation Solicitors' Group celebrated a High Court ruling which could lead to more than 100,000 compensation claims from sufferers of the disease, which causes numbness of the fingers and loss of grip.

The nine lead cases have now been listed for trial to determine compensation levels following Mr Justice Stephenson's ruling that British Coal should have had measures in place to prevent the disease by 1975.

Irwin Mitchell partner Andrew Tucker, a member of the steering group handling the lead cases, welcomed the decision.

“The important thing now is that all the parties make sure that the people affected are compensated quickly,” he said.

According to the steering group, a helpline set up in response to the judgment has been inundated with calls from miners and former miners seeking help.

A British Coal spokesman said the corporation was studying the judgment. But he added that the judge's decision to cite 1975 as the date British Coal should have been taking precautions vindicated its stance before the judgment.