pounds 4m awards recognise bravery

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The payout to Ron Lipsius is the largest of 84 cases settled so far at a cost to London Transport of more than pounds 4m, writes Steve Boggan.

Until yesterday, the highest awards had been made for the suffering of two men - a fireman and a ticket collector - for the post-traumatic stress they still endure after feats of selfless bravery.

Mahendra Parmar, 46, the ticket collector, was awarded pounds 375,616 in November 1994 after having his health ruined in the aftermath of the fire.

Despite terrifying conditions, Mr Parmar, from Milton Keynes, repeatedly led passengers out of danger and returned to save more. But after the disaster, he became withdrawn and suffered a series of health problems that resulted in him needing sticks to walk. He has to be cared for to a high degree by his wife, Sumitra.

The next highest award was made to Paul Hale, 47, of Sheerness, Kent, who repeatedly entered the smoke-filled station to pull out survivors and bodies. Making the award, Mr Justice Otton said: "He is probably one of the most courageous men I have ever had, or shall have, the privilege of meeting."

The highest collective award, to the widow and children of one of the victims, Christopher Roome, amounted to pounds 423,089.