Prisoners get compensation, airline passengers don't, compensation payouts to avoid jail terms ... what's going on? [21st Jun 2011]
A new website is about to be launched to help airline passengers claim compensation which has been unclaimed. The website is called EUclaim and has been launched partially in response to the Ryanair announcement that it will only deal with passenger claims directly. The websites allows passengers to fill in template forms to help them make claims they are entitled to. It is estimated that 1,000 passengers each day in the UK are entitled to more than £400 each due to cancelled or delayed flights. The compensation can be claimed under EC regulation 261 which states that compensation is allowed if passengers cannot board a flight, are delayed or have their flight cancelled. The website is hoping to highlight how airlines make it as hard as possible for people to claim their compensation.
Alex Salmond the Scottish government First Minister has refused to apologise after he made comments about Supreme Court judge Lord Hope and lawyer Tony Kelly. Salmond suggested that Kelly was making a good living from defending prisoners who were making compensation claims for the loss of their human rights. In addition he said that the UK Supreme Court is undermining the Scottish legal system by being allowed to rule on human rights cases if Scottish law is different to the current Human Right legislation. Salmond has said that there is a public issue regarding the payment of compensation to prisoners and that the issue needs to be remedied.
A cyclist who has been left in a wheelchair after a road traffic accident has received a compensation payment amounting to millions of pounds. Alexander Kotula was injured when he fell from his cycle into barriers around electrical works which were erected by EDF and Morrison Utility Services. He was then hit by a passing lorry. It was found that the barriers failed to maintain a one metre pedestrian space putting the companies in breach of their duty. The pathway was laid out over a kerb and on a curve. The works were on a very busy road and there was nowhere else for the cyclist to go other than on the pavement and between the barriers. Kotula will receive £2.5 million as a lump sum plus increasing yearly payments until he is retired.
A former high court judge has been appointed by The News of the World to handle the compensation payments they are making for the phone hacking scandal which is in the process of being resolved. Those victims who choose to receive compensation will be assessed by Sir Charles Gray to see what they are entitled to. It will be based on what a civil court judgement would be plus 10%. This is to encourage victims to get the compensation rather than go through the courts which may show up the scale of the phone hacking. Gray has said that the scheme is fair and will be a speedy way to determine compensation. It has been suggested by lawyers working with the victims that in the past phone hacking has led to a custodial sentence.
65 people who were forcibly removed to Australia between the end of World War II and the 1970's are to sue for compensation from the Australian government for the abuse they suffered. The children attended Fairbridge Farm School in NSW where they say they were sexually and physically abused and left with life long injuries. In addition they were told often incorrectly that their parents had died, while their parents were not told their children had emigrated. Apologies have recently been made by the Australian Prime Minister and by Gordon Brown on behalf of the UK government.
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