Windfall hopes for ex-miners

Robert Godfrey
Robert Godfrey

Former Leigh miners and their families could be in line for windfalls of up to £25k after being short-changed TWICE by different law firms over compensation payouts.

Big law firms got rich on claims from injured pitmen representing them for a host of industrial diseases such as vibration white finger.

These miners have been let down from start to finish. It’s scandalous that people can be treated in such a way.

Robert Godfrey

After they were exposed for withholding monies the miners then signed up with new companies to help them recover the owed funds.

But now in a cruel twist of fate it has emerged some of these other firms have also left miners thousands of pounds out of pocket by failing to properly investigate their claims.

The scandal was uncovered by professional negligence expert Robert Godfrey, a partner at Simpson Millar solicitors in Manchester who has now set up a specialist unit to help miners.

Mr Godfrey said: “These miners have been let down from start to finish. It’s scandalous that people can be treated in such a way.

“We estimate there are thousands of miners in the Wigan area who have been short-changed.”

Paul Kelly, who worked at Parsonage, had his claim dealt with fairly but said he knew other miners who were not so lucky and had been robbed of their future.

He said: “This is absolutely despicable. I know other miners and families that will be affected and it is a real kick in the teeth. It’s not about the money, it is about the principle. The lads should have been properly compensated and they were not looked after.”

Paul, who is unable to work due to crippling arthritis in his joints and breathing difficulties, spends his spare time helping out the homeless with voluntary work.

One firm represented miners in their claims for compensation over work related injuries, but were criticised for claiming back legal fees from miners.