Compensation payout figures and claims now seem to have the words "million" and "billion" in them a lot more [13th Jun 2011]
Barclays Bank has agreed to pay compensation to any customer who made a Payment Protection Insurance miss-selling claim prior to April 20. The payments will be made regardless of the circumstances of the claim and its validity. It is thought that the bank has taken this approach to clear the huge backlog of complaints which it is required to deal with. The claimants involved will get their premiums paid back plus compensation of a further 8%. Any complaints which have been made since this date or are still due to be lodged will be assessed according to the rules laid down by the Financial Services Authority. Barclays have commented that they agree they got things wrong and they are working to get things right as quickly as possible. It is thought that this approach may be taken by other banks which have long lists of claimants.
UK vegetable growers who were affected by the recent E-coli scare are thought to be deciding if they will try to claim compensation for their losses. Salad growers were particularly hard hit by the crisis, although there was no evidence of any risk associated with British vegetables. However sales fell due to a decrease in customer confidence. The European Commission has proposed that 150 million Euros be put aside to compensate all farmers involved. However this was rejected by Spain who claim to have lost around 200 million Euros per week.
A cyclist from Calderdale has been paid £2,000 in compensation from Yorkshire Water after he was thrown from his cycle after hitting a pothole. He suffered cuts and bruises in the accident and decided to claim compensation after he was encouraged to do so by the CTC, the UK cyclist association. It was found that the pothole surrounded a valve cover which was owned by Yorkshire Water. It has been pointed out by the legal team of the cyclist that potholes pose a major risk to all road users, not just cyclists.
A worldwide recall of metal on metal hip replacement systems which were sold by an orthopaedics company called DePuy has led to a compensation claim being launched by hundreds of affected patients across the country. It was found that two types of prosthetic produced by the company and used in hip replacement surgery were found to fail in one out of every eight operations. Those patients affected could be subject to constant pain, nerve and muscle damage. The case is being taken up by law firm Gregory Abrams Davidson who has been instructed by hundreds of patients from all over the UK. It is thought that DePuy could have to pay as much as £350 million in compensation.
It has been revealed that motor insurance companies could get billions of pounds each year in extra revenue from referral fees to personal injury lawyers. A Legal Services Board report on referral fees has recommended that the fees remain in place despite a Lord Jackson review which recommended a ban. The Association of British Insurers have also said that the fees should be removed. The report ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support a ban, but did suggest that the fees were made more transparent. It has been estimated that £4.7 billion each year is paid in referral fees to insurers and it is thought that this accounts for 10% of all premiums. The typical referral fee is around £750.
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