No win no fee lawyers have taken in almost one out of every three pounds awarded in the £4 billion worth of compensation won for deceased or ailing miners or their families. Three of these solicitor firms have claimed in excess of £50 million, while an additional three left with more than £100 million each for their work on the compensation claims.
However, there are a number of firms still embroiled over actions taken involving alleged deductions made from payouts made to their Yorkshire miner clients. According to the Yorkshire Post newspaper, almost £28 million has now been reimbursed to claimants in the wake of nearly 30 solicitor firms facing accusations of raking in profits wrongfully at the expense of these injured miners.
John Healey, Wentworth MP, remarked that the miners had an incredibly tough job that had a serious impact on their health as evidenced by the £4 billion compensation figure. However, he was outraged over how solicitors took 20 per cent of this compensation award, with some abusing the scheme to the point where they overcharged their clients by millions of pounds, calling the compensation cases a ‘gravy train’ for the legal firms that couldn’t control their greed.
Miners suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and vibration white finger made the claims against British Coal in 1996, with the firm being found responsible for the miners’ ailments. In excess of 650,000 claims were made by either miners of their surviving family members, with only six remaining unsettled at this time.