Former miners win pounds 125,000 over finger disease

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The Independent Online
Seven ex-miners suffering from a disabling finger disease were yesterday awarded almost pounds 125,000 by a High Court judge.

Solicitors in the case believe the Government could now face a bill of up to pounds 50m as the ruling clears the way to a further 500 compensation claims against British Coal by thousands of former pit men.

However, two of the nine men who had brought the case for Vibration White Finger - which involves damage to the hand's circulation and nerves from vibration and can cause loss of grip and sensitivity - failed to convince the judge at Newcastle High Court that they qualified for damages.

British Coal said it was considering launching an appeal. In a statement it said: "The court rejected two of the nine cases. This is significant. The judge has recognised British Coal's concerns and the substantial difficulties in assessing VWF cases."