£347,000 Bill for Criminal's Complaints about Dental Care in Prison [20th Oct 2011]
Prisoners at Wakefield Prison have been given compensation after they received poor dental care. The 24 inmates were awarded a total of £47,000 and £300,000 in legal fees. The Primary Care Trust for the area has said that they had long waiting lists for prison treatment which resulted from when they took over in 2005. They say that prison inmate dental health is often poor and more difficult to recruit dentists for. It is also pointed out that a number of claims which were made were rejected and that the cost of the lawyers far outweighed the amount the prisoners received. It is also made clear that all people have a right to claim compensation if a duty of care to them is breached.
The family of a man who was killed at work in January 2008 may seek compensation from his employer. Peter Reynolds was killed in an explosion at CEMEX UK Operations in the Midlands. He was thrown out of the building from the force of the explosions and fell a further ten metres to the ground. He was killed immediately. The Health and Safety Executive investigated and discovered that no action had been taken to remedy known problems with pressure and blockages in the system. No safe working practices had been put in place. CEMEX admitted a breach of the relevant act at Crown Court.
A joint claim against a smokeless fuel plant in Wales has been started by a group of 300 former workers who want compensation for their ill health. The Phurnacite plant at Abercwboi in Wales was owned by British Coal and the workers say they received only a fraction of the protection required to complete their job. The claim, which could be the largest mining related compensation case to go before courts, is being opposed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The workers say that the plant produced smokeless briquettes using pitch and this work was carried out in cycles 24 hours a day. This is different to other similar plants. One expert has suggested that working at the plant would do the equivalent damage to the lungs as smoking cigarettes.
The Metropolitan Police is facing a huge bill for compensation after two detectives walked free from the Old Bailey this week. Robert Clark and Christopher Drury had been jailed but asked for a retrial once they were released. The two, who are now bus drivers won the Court of Appeal case which gave permission for the retrial. However the CPS decided that the case against the men should be dropped. Both had been accused of supplying drugs and perverting the course of justice. The original conviction was based on the testimony of "supergrasses". The solicitors working for the men have said that their careers have been ruined by the allegations and that they will be looking for compensation and damages. They also want an investigation into how the prosecution and been allowed to rely on evidence which was discredited in both this and other trials. The retrial had been granted because some information came to light which had not been presented in the original case.
The Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke announced plans this week to hold terror compensation cases behind closed doors. It is hoped that this will prevent payments being made to terrorists. Currently claimants in civil cases can ask for all of the intelligence which has been gathered on them by the Security Services. This means that secrets could be leaked about live operations. The Green Paper on justice and security states that the current system does not serve national security and could be putting people at risk as not all evidence is being made available. If the cases were held behind closed doors all facts could be put to the courts. Ministers would have to apply for closed measures proceeding and special advocates in civil courts would be used to examine any documents of a sensitive nature.
Maurice Lay Distributors of Avonmouth has been fined £18,000 in costs and compensation after they breached waste packaging regulations. The company was required to register the amount of packaging it produced and that a percentage of their packaging must be recovered and recycled to meet government guidelines. They failed to do this themselves and did not employ a third party to do it on their behalf. In fact the company informed the Environment Agency that they handled less than 50 tonnes of waste packaging which exempted them from the requirement. This was not true. In fact they had 164 tonnes of packaging during the year. Having the packaging taken away and recycled would have cost less than £5,000. The Environment Agency pointed out that the company had been aware of the legislation for more than ten years and so they had no excuse.
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