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Ex-pitman wins fight to recover claim fee.

Byline: By Peter Young

A retired miner has won a battle to get back money deducted from his compensation after he contracted lung disease working in the pits.

Pensioner Richard Jobes, 71, received a cash settlement from the Government, but money was deducted as a fee by the claim-handling company he had signed up with.

The Law Society has now told solicitors involved in the case to repay pounds 3,775 to Mr Jobes, of Tanfield Lea, Stanley, County Durham.

His case was highlighted in the House of Commons by Durham North Labour MP Kevan Jones, who said he was delighted at the outcome.

Mr Jones is now asking other miners who find themselves in the same situation to contact him.

The MP has been campaigning on behalf of miners who suffered lung disease and their families.

He lodged a complaint with the Law Society on behalf of Mr Jobes.

Mr Jobes' case was handled by Industrial Disease Compensation Ltd, of Ashington ( now called Freeclaim IDC ( which passed it on to solicitors Silverbeck Rymer of Liverpool.

Mr Jones said under the terms of the national compensation settlement, costs were paid by the Government. In the Commons last year, the MP said Mr Jobes had signed an agreement with IDC, which received almost pounds 3,000 from his compensation in return for passing the claim to Silverbeck Rymer.

Mr Jones said the fees should not have been deducted.

Earlier this year the solicitors' governing body, the Law Society, ruled in favour of Mr Jobes.

It ordered Silverbeck Rymer to pay pounds 3,525 compensation and pounds 250 for inconvenience. Silverbeck Rymer requested a review of the adjudicator's decision.

That review has now been carried out and the adjudication panel has again found in favour of Mr Jobes.

Silverbeck Rymer was told to repay the money.

A spokesman for the law firm said: "Silverbeck Rymer was disappointed with the decision but will abide by it and make payment as directed by the Law Society."

Mr Jones said: "I'm delighted Mr Jobes is to get his money back. This money should not have been deducted.

"I would ask anyone in a similar situation to come forward."

Mr Jobes, who has four grown-up children and three grandchildren, worked in the pits for more than 40 years and contracted the lung disease emphysema.

Mr Jobes' wife, Anas, 71, said: "We're really pleased it's all over and he's won his case.

"He deserves it."
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 25, 2005
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