Corby to appeal against disability verdict

Author: By Tom Peck

The families of 16 children won a legal battle against Corby Borough Council in Northamptonshire last month. The families argued that the birth defects were due to mothers being exposed to toxic materials at the former British Steel plant in the town.

After a full council meeting at Corby’s Best Western Hotel, councillors voted to appeal against the High Court judgment.

They agreed to adopt a “twin-track” approach to dealing with the ruling, in which the council will start mediation with the claimants and families involved in the case.

Corby council’s chief executive, Chris Mallender, said the cost of appealing would run into six figures, but he said it would be worth it as the council could recover some costs if it wins the appeal. He said: “It’s a two-way situation. By paying these legal costs, we might recover the monies already spent and we might end up far better off.” But he stressed that the council would begin mediation with the families whilst the appeal process was proceeding, and that the council hoped to reach a conclusion with regard to individual cases “as soon as possible”.

Sarah Pearson, one of the family members at the meeting, criticised the decision.

She said the council’s decision to appeal against the High Court ruling was “not fair” for the children. She said: “We are very, very angry now. We just want to take it further. We will just keep fighting and fighting.”

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