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Corby Families Agree On Compensation Payout

April 16, 2010

Child's deformed hand
The children were born with deformities linked to the waste

The 19 families of children born with deformities caused by toxic dust from a former steelworks, have reached an out-of-court settlement over compensation.

Last year a High Court judge said Corby Borough Council was negligent in its clean-up of the site which allowed chemicals to affect pregnant women.

Poisonous dust released into the air was “capable” of causing limb deformities, the court ruled.

The families will share an undisclosed amount after an out-of-court deal.

Corby Borough Council has agreed to drop its challenge to the High Court ruling on negligence and instead will immediately pay compensation to each of the children without accepting liability in this case.

The agreement recognises the many years of emotional and physical suffering the 19 families have endured and will continue to endure.
Des Collins

The financial terms of the settlement remain confidential and in the case of the younger children will require approval by the court.

Corby Borough Council’s chief executive Chris Mallender said the authority recognised “that it made mistakes in its clean-up of the former British Steel site years ago and extends its deepest sympathy to the children and their families”.

He added: “The council sincerely hopes this apology and the agreement will mean that they can now put their legal battle behind them and proceed with their lives with a greater degree of financial certainty.”

‘Credit to council’

Des Collins, solicitor for the families, said: “My clients live with the daily reminder of the sub-standard clean-up of the former British Steel plant in Corby.

“The agreement recognises the many years of emotional and physical suffering the 19 families have endured and will continue to endure.

“It provides a financial award which will help towards the healthcare costs and loss of earnings they will inevitably face in the future.

“I pay tribute to the immense determination and spirit the Corby children and their families have shown.

“The families are grateful for the apology and expression of good wishes from Mr Mallender.”

Sarah Pearson, mother of Lewis Waterfield who was born with significant deformities affecting both hands, said: “We are just so relieved our fight is finally at an end.

“We would also like to give credit to the council for including three other children in this agreement, despite the court’s ruling last year.”

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