« Be informed | Main | Our mystery solved »


Family of dead miner offered 7 as lawyers earn 41m - Britain - Times Online

James Cowan's father began work aged 14. He died after spending almost half a century underground. In return, his family have been offered only 7.13 in compensation

...the law firm that handled their claim has earned 41 million.

In total 293,000 claimants have received money under the scheme, which was set up after the courts ordered British Coal to pay compensation to miners with respiratory disease caused by the inhalation of coal dust.

New parliamentary figures show that more than half of them 166,000 have received below 2,000, less than the scheme allows in legal fees for each claim that is handled.

More than 58,000 miners were paid less than 1,000, of whom almost 4,000 banked a cheque for less than 100.

Dealing with the claims of the 3,949 miners who each received less than 100 cost the taxpayer 15.3 million, of which less than 400,000 went to the claimants. Thirteen law firms have been paid more than 10 million each for their work.

Henry VI, part 2 - Act 4, Scene 2 by William Shakespeare

BEVIS O miserable age! virtue is not regarded in handicrafts-men.

HOLLAND The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.

BEVIS Nay, more, the king's council are no good workmen.
BEVIS Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity's throat cut like a calf.
DICK The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.


As a mining engineer I find this whole story too offensive for words. Kill the fuckers, every last, blood sucking leach of them.

And let this be a lesson to those who keep electing a government packed with lawyers and married to yet more of them.

By the way, does the story relate whether the chambers employing one Cherry Boot profit from this clusterfuck?


What's the difference between a hooker and a lawyer?

A hooker stops screwing you after you're dead.

Pass the shotgun would you please?

RM said "And let this be a lesson to those who keep electing a government packed with lawyers and married to yet more of them."

Absolutely, a govt. of lawyers will make law for lawyers. If, for example the govt. was comprised of cabinet makers, then chippies and instalers of flat-pack kitchens would be living high on the hog.

Law and Justice, these two are not the same and must never be confused.

I understand your emotions, but why blame the lawyers for doing the work that needed to be done at their proper fees? These are sad cases, but so are many others. Should an undertaker work for free out of sympathy for the bereaved?

Bear in mind also that those fees are controlled by the courts, if someone cares to challenge them.

It's ridiculous to compare (as the headline does) the compensation for the family of one long-dead miner - compensation set by a court after taking expert evidence - with the earnings of many, possibly hundreds of lawyers, working not just on his case but on thousands of them.

To declare an interest; I am a lawyer.

PS: Shakespeare was putting words into the mouths of dissolute and drunken characters in the verses quoted in an earlier comment. He was not advocating a course of action.

TE says: - The workman is always due his fee but the full article makes it clear that some Lawyers as well as being paid an agreed rate by the Government were also taking money from the compensation amount, which is how these insulting amounts arise. Criminal investigations into the activities of some of the lawyers are in progress which is why I will leave it there.

Be very careful about making hasty, emotional judgements.
The whole question of miners (Coal, Welsh and Scottish)and their occupational diseases is fraught with corruption, mainly political. Before any other consideration remember that all of them are old fashioned socialists. When each miner's occupational hazard was described politicians rushed to exploit the public guilt feeling about them to introduce huge compensation. The mechanism for claims was to go at once to the local miners social club to collect a claim form, one form for each miner. This was so for "Lung disease" which was mainly due to cigarette smoking, for "Miner's nystagmus" of doubtful importance, and for "white finger" due to prolonged use of drills. For none of these was real diagnosis easy, but almost all lung disease was due to chronic obstructive airways disease and emphysema secondary to smoking. But the political message to doctors and lawyers alike was "Give em the money Barney". Remember that the epicentre of the benefits industry is in Welsh mining areas even to this day.
I give way to no one in my detestation of lawyers, but their inclusion in the process was government driven.
In summary, this was a give away to old socialist voters, public money for their support. Now we see public money as the main contribution to the economy in Wales Scotland and N. England. Same thing really, only without some of the hypocrisy

Post a comment