York Herald – Saturday 25 April 1891
Action Against the Yorkshire Miners Permanent Relief Fund.
lmportant to Injured Miners.
At Doncaster County Court on Thursday, George Grice, a miner, lately employed at the Denaby Main Colliery, brought an action against Thomas Watson, secretary to the Yorkshire Miners’ Relief Fund, to recover the usual weekly relief under the following circumstances : —
At the outset it was contended for the defendant society that the plaintiff was bound to submit his case to arbitration, on which it was stated that he had submitted to arbitration, and the award was in his favour ; and that it would be unfair to expect the man to be constantly submitting to arbitration at the will of the defendant society.
The chief point in dispute was whether the plaintiff was in a better condition now than when he was examined for the arbitration ; and whether, in the terms of the rules of the society he was able to do “ordinary employment.”
It was agreed to hear the facts, Mr. Ellison, barrister, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Beverley, barrister, for the the defendant society.
Grice stated he was 71 years of age last March. In Nov 1886 he met with an accident while working at Denaby Main. He received sick pay till about the middle of 1888, when the pay was stopped. Then there followed an arbitration, and the award dated 26th October, 1888, was in his favour. For that arbitration he was examined by Dr. Blackburn, the medical officer for the society; Dr. Sadler, of Barnsley ; Dr. Sykes, of Mexbro’ ; and Dr. Burman, of Wath. After the arbitration his pay was continued till December last. At that time Mr. Watson visited him in Staffordshire. According to an arrangement he went to a Dr. Kelly’s to be examined, but declined to strip because there was no fire in the room and he was suffering from bronchitis. Subsequently he returned to Mexbro’ and was again examined by Dr. Blackburn. He was not now able to work and no better than when he was examined for the arbitration.
Answering Mr. Beverley, plaintiff said he was not able to follow ordinary employment. He had tried but had not succeeded in getting any employment that he could do.
Dr. Sykes, of Mexbro’, said that plaintiff was suffering from nervous injury, passing on to spinal degeneration. He looked upon the man as being incurable, and if anything slightly worse than when he examined him for the arbitration.
By the Judge : Witness would not say that the injury could be arrested but he thought it was very unlikely.