Just recently contaminated blood victims won the right to sue the Government over the handling of the affair. This blog, by Simon Bransby, a specialist clinical negligence lawyer at Morgan Jones Pett, explains where we are now.
The cases go back to blood clotting products used in the UK in the 1970’s and 1980’s, made from plasma which came through donations from high risk sources, paid donors in the United States and prisoners.
The products caused haemophiliacs to be infected with illnesses such as Hepatitis C and HIV with several thousand people having died.
The Government had attempted to block the latest legal proceedings whilst a public enquiry deals with matters but, thankfully for victims, a Judge in the High Court has ruled that the cases can proceed. The Prime Minister Theresa May, announced in July this year that there would be an investigation and it is hoped that a public enquiry will be set up, however to date no chair has appointed nor terms of reference agreed.
Payments were made out to families in the 1990’s but Claimant’s argue that they are invalid as key facts were withheld at the time from surviving patients and bereaved relatives. Freedom of Information request results have strongly suggested the risks were known from at least 1983 but not passed on to patients until 1986/1987.
The claims being made will be part of a group litigation claim. It is likely the Court will make an Order that all the cases are dealt with together.
The group litigation order will mean that parties wanting to add themselves to the main action will have until a particular time to do it. If you feel you have possible clinical negligence issues related to this scandal then call Simon Bransby on (01603) 877000.