Victims and relatives of the NHS contaminated blood scandal have been granted permission to join together in an action for compensation against the government.
The victims, recipients of botched blood products during the 70s and 80s, successfully persuaded the Court to grant a group litigation order at the hearing on Tuesday.
Find out what happened and what it means for you below.
Victims of the NHS Blood Scandal win right to sue for compensation
The case concerns imported blood products tainted with HIV and the Hepatitis C virus. The products, such as the clotting agent Factor VIII, were administered during treatment for conditions including haemophilia. The error led to the widespread infection of unknowing individuals, and the deaths of more than 2,400 people to date.
The victims and their relatives are now suing the Department of Health for damages resulting from the alleged negligence of the NHS in importing blood products from “unsafe sources”.
The victims’ application was rigorously opposed by Department of Health’s lawyers, who argued that the application was “premature”. In granting the order, Senior Master Fontaine, the judge hearing the application, stated that “it would not be sensible to delay further.”
What is a Group Litigation Order?
A group litigation order (GLO) is defined as “an order made under rule 19.11 to provide for the case management of claims which give rise to common or related issues of fact or law.”
Having been granted, the GLO will contain directions about the establishment of a register on which the claims managed under the GLO will be entered.
It is understood that the group register in relation to this case has risen to over 500 claims.
Subject to the Court’s discretion, any order or judgement made in a claim on the group register is binding upon all other claims that are on the group register at the time the judgement is given or the order is made.
In effect, a GLO reduces the need for claims to be tried separately when they share common or related issues of fact or law, thus saving time and resources, and ensures a consistent application of the law to multiple cases.
What does this mean for you?
If you are a victim of the NHS contaminated blood scandal, or are a relative of someone who is, you may be able to claim compensation.
There is already over 500 victims that have joined the group register.
If your claim is added to the register it will be managed alongside others. The court may then give directions for the trial of common issues and for the trial of individual issues.
Common issues are often decided on “test cases,” and may then be binding on you and the parties to your claim. The process is designed streamline the management of multiple claims which give rise to common or related issues.
So, if you are a victim of the NHS contaminated blood scandal, or a relative of someone who is, then you may be able to be added to the group register and claim compensation from the Department of Health.
Our team of expert medical negligence solicitors are here to offer you free, confidential advice. Call our specialist team now on 0113 200 9787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how to claim compensation for the NHS blood scandal.
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