Jordans Article – Wakefield and Castleford/Pontefract Express

November 19, 2009 | Comments Off

Mining Equipment

In the last 10 years many in the mining industry have claimed damages for Vibration White Finger, a condition that involves damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the fingers causing them to turn white due to reduced blood flow, become numb and tingly. The severity of the condition varied. In mild cases temporary numbness can occur. As it becomes more serious the sufferers noticed a marked loss of dexterity. The condition is irreversible and untreatable. In January 1999 the Department of Trade and Industry set up a compensation scheme under which miners could claim damages for this condition following a decision by the courts that it had been caused as a consequence of using vibrating tools in the mines.

The scheme required miners to undergo several tests to establish they had the condition and its severity. The level of the damages they were awarded was dependant on the “stage” of the condition they were found to be suffering from had reached.

If miners were deemed to have the condition at Stage 2SN (Neurological) or Stage 2V (Vascular) of the five possible stages, they were automatically assumed to need assistance then and in the future with various activities such as gardening work, window cleaning, DIY and decorating, car washing and maintenance. Those miners were entitled to submit a claim for services in such circumstances from the date their symptoms began until their 70th Birthday. In order to make a successful claim for the help they needed to complete a “services questionnaire” and those that provided assistance to the miners were required to complete a “helper’s questionnaire”. If upon investigation the details given in these two questionnaires were deemed to marry up by the DTI, the miner was invited to a second medical examination to support his claim. If the medical report concurred with the miner’s questionnaire damages were awarded.

The process of dealing with “services claims” took some time; often not being completed from start to finish for several years. Despite the possibility of the miner being able to receive up to 92.5% of their damages there and then and thereafter submit an application for services, many settled their claim electing not to pursue it. The last date for making such a claim under the scheme was the 31st March 2005.

Unfortunately it has emerged that many miners were given either no, inadequate or misleading advice on their ability to claim for services and this was why they did not pursue this element of their claim. As a consequence they have lost their chance to claim.

In circumstances where the advice was incorrect and miners did not recover damages for services when they would have otherwise been entitled to the same it may be possible to reclaim their damages from the solicitor who advised them. They should seek advice from an independent solicitor as soon as possible.

In the last 10 years many in the mining industry have claimed damages for Vibration White Finger, a condition that involves damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the fingers causing them to turn white due to reduced blood flow, become numb and tingly. The severity of the condition varied. In mild cases temporary numbness can occur. As it becomes more serious the sufferers noticed a marked loss of dexterity. The condition is irreversible and untreatable. In January 1999 the Department of Trade and Industry set up a compensation scheme under which miners could claim damages for this condition following a decision by the courts that it had been caused as a consequence of using vibrating tools in the mines.

The scheme required miners to undergo several tests to establish they had the condition and its severity. The level of the damages they were awarded was dependant on the “stage” of the condition they were found to be suffering from had reached.

If miners were deemed to have the condition at Stage 2SN (Neurological) or Stage 2V (Vascular) of the five possible stages, they were automatically assumed to need assistance then and in the future with various activities such as gardening work, window cleaning, DIY and decorating, car washing and maintenance. Those miners were entitled to submit a claim for services in such circumstances from the date their symptoms began until their 70th Birthday. In order to make a successful claim for the help they needed to complete a “services questionnaire” and those that provided assistance to the miners were required to complete a “helper’s questionnaire”. If upon investigation the details given in these two questionnaires were deemed to marry up by the DTI, the miner was invited to a second medical examination to support his claim. If the medical report concurred with the miner’s questionnaire damages were awarded.

The process of dealing with “services claims” took some time; often not being completed from start to finish for several years. Despite the possibility of the miner being able to receive up to 92.5% of their damages there and then and thereafter submit an application for services, many settled their claim electing not to pursue it. The last date for making such a claim under the scheme was the 31st March 2005.

Unfortunately it has emerged that many miners were given either no, inadequate or misleading advice on their ability to claim for services and this was why they did not pursue this element of their claim. As a consequence they have lost their chance to claim.

In circumstances where the advice was incorrect and miners did not recover damages for services when they would have otherwise been entitled to the same it may be possible to reclaim their damages from the solicitor who advised them. They should seek advice from an independent solicitor as soon as possible.