Miami Showband Survivor appeals Victim Payment Award
We act on behalf of Stephen Travers one of the survivors of the 1975 Miami Showband atrocity.
In December 2021 the State agreed an out of court settlement on his High Court civil action for damages for assault, trespass, negligence, conspiracy and misfeasance. There was no admission of any liability nor was there any apology. The court result, although long overdue and welcome, still left a residual annoyance that justice wasn’t fully served.
That frustration has been compounded further by the paltry sum recently awarded to Mr Travers by the Victims Payments Board. In calculating the amount, the Board took into account both the settlement payment and a previous NIO criminal injury compensation payment made many years ago. That left him with a negligible amount. We have appealed the Award on two key legal grounds.
Speaking after the Appeal was lodged solicitor Kevin Winters of KRW LAW Conflict Litigation Dept said,
“The Board informed Stephen that his payment would be cut substantially because he was ‘awarded’ a financial figure in relation to his previous High court damages claim. We know that clearly wasn’t the position. The State can’t have it both ways by formally denying liability in a high court collusion case and then cynically relying on that same litigation resolution to down grade his Victims Payment. This appeal isn’t a play on words on what an ‘award’ means for the purposes of the Victims Payments Scheme. It’s an appeal which challenges the State on what exactly it means when it cites an award of damages for The Miami Showband atrocity. Short of any explanation to the contrary, by this analogy, there’s now an implied acceptance of liability.
The other ground of appeal relates to the composition of the figure paid out at the time of the settlement. As our client understood it at the time, the payment he got was deemed to include a sum for economic and financial loss but there’s been nil recognition taken of that in calculating his last Payment Award. “
Stephen Travers added,
“I have been retraumatised by the whole process. As a Troubles victim entering into my swansong years, I shouldn’t be put in this position. It was bad enough with all the stress of suing the State for collusion on what happened to me and my colleagues. Now I have to go through this all again to fight for a reasonable award. I’ve had anything but. The sum offered to me is downright insulting. No victim or survivor should have to be put through this. It’s as if I’m now being penalised for having successfully sued the State in my case. They’re now effectively taking back from me the payment they reluctantly made to me in 2021. It’s demeaning and demoralising. I’ve been left with no choice but to appeal”.