Miners may be able to sue for damages
They would have to show that they had lost money as a result of the decision to close the pits, which was ruled unlawful by the High Court on Monday.
Solicitors acting for the miners said the men could sue British Coal for breach of contract and ask for compensation worth several hundred pounds a week each. The miners had been on basic pay, which does not take account of bonuses and often comes to less than half their average earnings, their lawyers said.
Peter Woods, a solicitor with Stephens Innocent, which is acting for the mineworkers' unions, also said miners who had taken voluntary redundancy 'had a valid claim for reinstatement.'
More than a quarter of those employed at the 10 pits have opted for redundancy and they, too, could seek damages on the basis of lost earnings, he said. The unions had already launched concurrent legal proceedings in the Chancery Division of the High Court, seeking damages and will continue to persue the claim.
If the miners are successful, their damages could run to millions of pounds.
However, a specialist in employment law said the miners would face difficulties. Monday's High Court decision came in the domain of public law, whereas the action in the Chancery Division was based on private law. 'As soon as you go for damages in these cases, there are problems,' he said. 'It's not impossible, but it's pretty rare.'
Lawyers also accused Michael Heseltine, the President of the Board of Trade, of being 'close to contempt of court' through his refusal to re-start production at the pits.
- 4 Frankie Boyle on Scottish independence: 'In the Interests of Unity, F**k Off'
- 5 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Boston Marathon runner's search for mystery man she kissed ends with letter from his wife
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
Mysterious 'X-Files' sounds heard miles above the Earth
Met Gala 2015: Beyoncé manages to out-skimp Rihanna, Miley and Kim Kardashian with near-naked ensemble
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...