Tag Archives: damages

Tory councillor coughs up after Corbyn wreath libel

The last laugh: Jeremy Corbyn has won “substantial” damages from the Tory who tweeted a derogatory image about him. He is donating the money to charity.

I don’t think I have to say too much about this. Everybody else already has!

Including – at highly-satisfying length – the culprit:

Here’s Jeremy Corbyn’s side of it.

Others have already noted – and I’d like to add my voice to theirs – that Mr Corbyn only sued because Nickerson’s tweet disrespected those who were affected by the Liverpool Women’s Hospital bomb and the threat it posed to possible victims including new mothers and their babies.

The following tweet also matches my own feelings:

Nickerson himself has asked for his message to be retweeted, so please do.

Let’s remember that fellow Tory Ben Bradley’s apology to Mr Corbyn became one of the most retweeted tweets ever (if I recall correctly). Here it is now:

And while it is too late for Mr Corbyn to take action over the matter mentioned below, and I doubt that he would have anyway because it seems clear that he’s not bothered about the names people call him, in the light of the subject’s lawsuit against me I can’t help but sympathise with the sentiment:

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Boris Johnson failed to pay £535 County Court-defined damages. Is he broke or not?

Wishful thinking: Boris Johnson won’t end up behind bars for failing to pay a County Court-ordered sum. But why does he think he can cancel it?

Confused? You should be.

Boris Johnson’s finances would befuddle even the most experienced double-entry jockey.

First we heard that being prime minister had made him so poor he couldn’t afford to feed himself and his many (known) children, and had appealed to Tory donors for help.

Then we discovered that this was against the rules, and suddenly Johnson announced that he had paid for everything after all.

But how can this be true, if he couldn’t even stump up £535 in accordance with a court order, back in October last year?

(By a curious coincidence, This Writer had to find exactly the same amount today – for repairs to my car. I managed it – and I earn a lot less than Boris Johnson, even though some – thanks, Mrs Mike – might say I’m worth a lot more.)

According to the BBC, the money is supposed to pay off libel damages – but I find that highly suspicious. Libel isn’t tried in the county court – cases only appear before High Court judges (I should know!) and they cost a lot more than £535!

Downing Street has said the court ruling is “without merit” (whatever that’s supposed to mean – if Johnson didn’t pay a court-ordered fine, then the facts seem fairly clear).

A spokesperson said,

“An application will be made for an order to set aside the default judgement, to strike out the claim and for a declaration that the claim is totally without merit.”

There was a time for that, and it was October last year. Now is too late.

It will be interesting to see what excuse is put forward for failing to challenge the judgement at the time.

I doubt any court will accept “The prime minister is above the law,” even if that is what Johnson genuinely believes.

Source: No 10 seeks to cancel county court debt judgement against Boris Johnson – BBC News

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Disabled benefit claimant sends in the bailiffs after suing Atos for negligence

More people need to do this.

A benefit claimant whose partner recorded her Personal Independence Payment assessment interview successfully sued Atos for negligence and failure of its duty of care after her payments were stopped.

She then sent in the bailiffs to enforce the country court’s ruling after the outsourcing giant refused to pay up.

The claimant, known as Rebecca, had to spend two years fighting to get her PIP reinstated after it was wrongly stopped on the basis of false information provided by the assessor.

Rebecca has epilepsy and a resulting heart condition, anxiety, depression and memory problems but her entitlement to the enhanced daily living component of PIP, along with her claim to the benefit itself, was removed by the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis of the assessment.

Eventually she was able to put her case before an appeal panel who listened to the recording of the assessment, compared it with the assessor’s account of the interview, and promptly restored her entitlement to PIP – and to the enhanced rate of the daily living component – until 2023.

Rebecca was so angry at the way she had been treated by Atos and the DWP that she decided to take the assessment firm to court, suing for “mental distress, anxiety and hardship”.

Atos did not bother to defend the claim, which resulted in an award of £2,500 for Rebecca, in compensation and damages.

Perhaps the firm simply thought it could shrug away her attempts to claim the money?

Not so. When Atos failed to pay, she sent the bailiffs in to its London offices, creating a further cost of £2,000.

This is a huge victory – not just financially but morally – for benefit claimants whose claims have been cancelled under false pretences, based on inaccurate assessment reports.

It happened because the assessment was recorded – something that the DWP has resisted for years. Now we know why: it stops that government department from wrongly knocking people off its books. This is a strong indication that every benefit claimant should record their interview.

Atos may wish to consider that the award against it was enlarged because of the length of time it took Rebecca to win her case.

I don’t have the full details but I’m willing to bet this was due to the “mandatory reassessment” malarkey imposed by the DWP, which means claimants have to wait – with no cash to live on – while officers of the department consider whether the decision to cut their benefit was right.

Usually they decide it was, and it is only then that claimants can appeal to a tribunal. Most appeals are won by the claimant.

This Writer would therefore urge anybody who has recorded their assessment, lost benefits, and had to appeal to get them back, to follow Rebecca’s example: don’t just take the money – take legal action!

Once Atos and the DWP have lost a few more cases, they might actually give up and agree that their system is unfair and has to change.

Source: Claimant Successfully Sues Atos And Sends In The Bailiffs When They Don’t Pay Up | Same Difference

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Universal credit claimants win five-figure damages over unlawful discrimination

Suck on that, Esther McVey!

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey must pay damages to two severely disabled men who lost £170 a month when they were moved onto universal credit (UC).

The pair will be paid a total of just over £11,000 to compensate their financial losses and the resultant “mental suffering, distress, anxiety, humiliation and disruption to life,” the High Court heard today.

Last month, the High Court ruled that the two men were unlawfully discriminated against as they were moved onto UC simply because they moved between local authority areas.

TP, a terminally ill 52-year-old, had his payments cut under UC while undergoing “gruelling chemotherapy” because he briefly moved from London to live with his parents in Dorset.

AR, a 36-year-old suffering from bipolar disorder, was forced to use foodbanks when his support was cut after the bedroom tax forced him to move from Middlesbrough to Hartlepool.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) agreed to pay TP and AR damages but sought to keep the sum confidential.

Source: Universal credit claimants unlawfully discriminated against win five-figure damages | Morning Star

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Foul-mouthed MP gets off lightly with £80,000 payout to ‘Plebgate’ PC

Andrew Mitchell on his bike.

Andrew Mitchell on his bike.

It’s a sad indictment of our legal system that Andrew Mitchell, the MP who lost his rag at the gates of Downing Street when a policeman told him to dismount from his bicycle, has been ordered to pay just £80,000 in damages after he tried to ruin the copper’s career.

Mitchell’s tirade against PC Toby Rowland infamously included the word ‘pleb’. He denied this and made other claims which led PC Rowland to sue him for defamation. That case was won on November 27 last year – more than two years after the incident took place in September 2012.

Now it has been announced that PC Rowland has accepted an offer of just £80,000 in damages from Mr Mitchell, whose lucrative £18,000-a-day second career with asset management firm Investec means he will, in effect, lose less than a week’s wages.

Less than one week’s wages – from a second job Mitchell shouldn’t have – in punishment for putting this police officer through 26 months of agony, simply for doing his duty.

Does that seem fair to you?

Here’s the BBC report.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Health and safety deregulation: The thin end of a crippling wedge

I know what you think about this: “It’s only low-risk places like shops – what harm can it do?”

A lot, in fact.

The government is planning to introduce new rules from April next year, scrapping health and safety checks on thousands of businesses it considers low-risk. Shops are among them, along with offices, pubs and clubs.

Apparently this will save millions of pounds. I wonder how many lives it will ruin.

I have a friend who works in a supermarket, which counts as a shop. While he was working, a cleaner on some kind of motorised transport shot through a pair of doors which hit him on the arm, injuring it. This was months ago; the arm isn’t better. Because the supermarket chain had sub-contracted the cleaning work to another company, he is still awaiting compensation for the injury and loss of earnings; both firms deny responsibility.

This is a health and safety issue. Why does the government have nothing to say about it? And how many more people will suffer similar injury – or worse – in an unregulated future?

According to business minister Michael Fallon, firms will only face health and safety inspections if they are operating in areas deemed to be higher-risk, such as construction and food production, or if they have had an accident or a track record of poor performance – but for how long? If the policy saves companies money – never mind the human cost for a moment – won’t they expand it, to improve profitability for proprietors?

Ministers also said legislation would be introduced next month to ensure that businesses will only be held liable for civil damages in health and safety cases if they can be shown to have acted negligently.

Mrs Mike (my girlfriend) has had firsthand experience of how this works. She’s a former employee of a manufacturing company. This firm had multiple health and safety regulations to enforce, along with the equipment to do so – but she tells me that, strangely, all this equipment was hidden away during the normal working day and only came out when the factory’s owners were notified that a surprise inspection would take place. Think about that.

She doesn’t work there any more. Conditions were such that she had to perform repetitive physical work while standing at an uncomfortable angle, because the work surfaces were too low, for many hours every day, and this caused her physical damage.

But can she prove that it was her job that did the harm?

No.

I admit that this was one factory, run by a firm that no longer exists (it went into receivership and the premises are now run by someone else, who may have instigated a better health and safety regime; we don’t know, Mrs Mike isn’t there anymore). But consider the opportunities for abuse that will be available to other firms, if regulations are relaxed.

You might ask why I don’t think firms will carry on in a responsible manner after deregulation, and it might be a good question if we didn’t have the example of recent history available to us.

What I mean is: Just look at what happened with the banks.

Finally, what do you think will happen if you do suffer an injury at work? Mrs Mike was quietly sacked and has ended up on the infamous Employment and Support Allowance – Work-Related Activity Group. That’s right – you’ll get a year’s worth of invalidity pay before being required to go out and look for work, no matter what your physical condition might be. We already know that this experience can be terminal.

If you still doubt me about ESA, the latest YouTube video on the subject is on the Vox Political Facebook page. It tells the story of a claimant undergoing the hated Work Capability Assessment, in which the assessor actually asked, “So how long exactly have you had Down’s Syndrome?”