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15Oct92 UK: £50,000 FOR CHUNNEL DEATH FAMILY.

The family of a Channel Tunnel worker who was crushed to death between a mobile crane and a tunnel boring machine in May 1990, has agreed £50,000 damages.Billy Cartman, 33, left a widow, Susan, 26, and two children, aged nine and four.The court was told Mr Cartman was working near the tunnel face when he was crushed between a moving crane and the fixed metal frame of a boring machine.Mrs Cartman, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, had sought damages from Translink Joint Venture - a consortium of five major construction firms involved in the project.The family's counsel, Jeffrey Burke QC, told Deputy Judge Mr Adrian Whitfield QC that a trial of the action was now unnecessary as the parties had come to terms.Translink Joint Venture had accepted 75 per cent of liability for the accident and had agreed to pay £50,000 damages.Counsel said the 25 per cent deduction had been made because Mr Cartman had himself been following a 'highly dangerous work practice'.But that practice had 'grown up' among tunnel workers and 'should have been prevented' by Translink, Mr Burke told the court.Half of the money would be divided equally between the two children.Deputy Judge Whitfield approved the settlement of the family's claims, describing the case as 'distressing and sad'.