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North Easts Many Coke Workers May Be Entitled To Compensation

View profile for Mark Ellis
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Thousands of coke oven workers in the North East may be entitled to recompense for diseases caused by exposure to toxic airborne substances at work.

Mark Ellis, one of the region’s leading specialists in industrial disease compensation claims, said that a recent decision by the High Court in London has paved the way for coke oven workers and former such workers to make compensation claims for respiratory diseases they are suffering.  He said: “We believe there have been at least 18 coke plants in the North East, with two still operational, and there are potentially thousands of people who are suffering as a result of working at these plants.  Some closed as early as the 1960s, but workers or former workers are entitled to compensation for industrial disease even if they worked for these plants decades ago.”

In August 2012, Parliament added ‘Lung Cancer for Coke Oven Workers’ to a list of prescribed industrial diseases.  A landmark case shortly afterwards held owners of a phurnacite plant responsible for respiratory diseases in former workers.  The processes for making phurnacite and coke are very similar, and as a result coke oven workers from across the UK are entitled to seek compensation for any debilitating respiratory diseases which have resulted from their working environment.  Compensation is available for workers and former workers who have been since been diagnosed with lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Cases are assessed on their individual merits.

Mark added: “Your employer has a duty to protect your health whist you are at work, and compensation is due even if the illnesses aren’t evident until many years later.  We want to help those suffering and their families.  We can help recover losses such as medical costs and lost income, and potentially help them review their entitlement to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits (IIDB).  It’s important that people in the North East know they could well have a valid claim.  The compensation may make a huge difference to their future, and that of their family.”

Tilly Bailey & Irvine Solicitors’ team has extensive experience in claims for industrial related injuries and diseases.  The firm is accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), and has experience in bringing claims which date back many years, as well as claims against companies which are no longer trading, have changed name or have been bought out.

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