A former Miner has been awarded almost £10,000 due to his former solicitor’s negligence in advising him of the true value of his Vibration White Finger claim.
Mr C was a client of Raleys Solicitors and was awarded less than £4,000 when his claim was settled in mid 2003. As a man who was an experienced and talented miner, but inexperienced with paperwork, he did what any reasonable person would do when faced with a telephone directory sized bundle of paperwork, he scanned the forms for what he had been awarded, and signed on the dotted line.
Raleys, as his solicitors, owed him a duty of care. The firm had previously seen that Mr C was unable to complete long forms without mistake, and indeed did not follow up on his last mistake, accepting his offer without knowing he was entitled to more.
Mr C’s VWF caused him to need help with tasks such as Gardening, DIY and Decoration, and had help with these tasks before his claim had even began. Raleys did not ask Mr C if he needed help with these tasks, nor did they give him reasonable opportunity to bring it to their attention. Mr C believed all he was entitled to was that £4,000, and that was all he got.
Raleys argued that the reason Mr C did not enter a service claim was because he did not need help with those tasks. However this was shot down by His Honour Judge Saffman, who said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. That if Mr C was a man with a conscience in 2003, he was a man with a conscience in 2014 and the reason he did not bring a claim was because he did not have the knowledge.
And with his conscience intact, his negligent solicitors got their just desserts.