Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 25 June 1910
Denaby Colliery Company to Pay.
Mexborough Miner Figures in Interesting Case.
Thomas Severn, miner, of Mexborough, was the applicant in an arbitration in which the original respondents were the Manvers Main colliery Co Ltd, compensation being claimed for disablement through industrial disease. The latter brought in the Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries Company Ltd., as added respondents.
Mr. T. E. Ellison, barrister appeared on behalf of the Manvers Main Co. and Mr. W. M. Gichard (Rotherham) for the Denaby Co.
Applicant’s claim is admitted, but the respondents denied liability.
Mr. Ellison stated that Severn sustained a fractured rib at the Manvers Main Colliery on October 21, 1900. Compensation was paid up to December 20, 1909, and the man recovered from the injury. On December 29 however, the Manvers Company received from Doctor English a certificate stating that Severn was disabled following his employment because he was suffering from nystagmus, which commenced on December 5 or previously.
A second certificate, issued on March 3, 1910, stated that the nystagmus most probably commenced about 12 months previously.
The man left the employ of the Denaby Company on 21 April 1909, having worked for them at intervals for 39 years, his last period being from November 1907. It was in June 1909, he commenced work at the Manvers pit. When the company received Dr. English’s. Certificate they paid compensation of £1 a week until February 9th. 1910, when it was discovered that Severn had suffered rather badly from this disease while he was working for the Denaby Company. Notice was accordingly served on the latter company as required by law.
Evidence in support of applicant’s case was given by Severn himself and Doctors Blythman and Harvey. Dr. Emerson, oculist, of Sheffield, on behalf of the Denaby Company said that his experience of the disease led him to believe it was impossible to fix the time when it was contracted. Generally speaking it was regarded as a disease to which only persons who have worked underground for years were liable.
Mr. Gichard pointed out that while Severn worked Denaby he had never complained of his eyes nor had he neglected to work because of them.
His Honour made an order against the Manvers Main Company to pay 19/-weekly compensation, the Denaby Company to indemnify the Manners Main 14/3 a week being three fourths of the amount. The Denaby Company would have to bear the costs.