Lawyers for those infected and affected by contaminated blood urge government to consider interim payments for those previously denied support
Lawyers at Leigh Day have cautiously welcomed the publication of Sir Robert Francis QC’s study into a compensation scheme for the victims of the contaminated blood scandal.
Posted on 08 June 2022
Lawyers at Leigh Day have cautiously welcomed the publication of Sir Robert Francis QC’s study into a compensation scheme for the victims of the contaminated blood scandal, and in particular the proposal that an interim payment of no less than £100,000 should be made as soon as possible to those who are currently in receipt of the existing support payments. However, they have urged that this be extended to those who have previously been refused payment under the existing support payment scheme despite credible evidence to support their claim.
The report makes several recommendations to the government on a proposed compensation scheme. It is reported that the government’s response to this study will not be published until the Infected Blood Inquiry (IBI) reports in 2023. Nevertheless, the publication of this study is still welcome news for those infected and affected by contaminated blood and blood products who have been waiting decades for any genuine compensation scheme and an apology.
Leigh Day represents hundreds of infected and affected people both at the Infected Blood Inquiry and in a separate claim for compensation, many of whom have engaged fully in assisting the government and Sir Robert Francis QC with the study into the compensation framework. They would be prepared to welcome a scheme on the basis that it is reasonable and fair.
In anticipation of the government’s response to the report, one of Leigh Day’s clients, Stephen Smith, 56 of Cornwall said:
“The scheme, if put in place, must take into account our views rather than taking the easiest and cheapest route possible to compensate those affected … while we are best placed to tell our stories, we need to ensure the scheme is just and we need legal representation to do that, to ensure we are compensated as we deserve.”
Gene Matthews, partner at Leigh Day, said:
“The Government has now published Sir Robert Francis QC’s Infected Blood Compensation Study. It is a detailed study that requires careful consideration, nevertheless on initial review, the publication of the study is welcome news for those infected and affected by contaminated blood and blood products who have been waiting decades for any genuine apology and a proper compensation scheme.
“We agree with Sir Robert’s proposal that an interim payment of no less than £100,000 should be made as soon as possible to those who are currently in receipt of the existing support payments but urge that consideration be given to ensure that same award is made to those who have so far been refused payment under the existing support payment scheme, despite credible evidence to support their claim. Sir Robert’s reasoning for the interim payment is that those affected and infected may not live to see the outcome of the Infected Blood Inquiry, nor the Government’s response as to the proposed compensation scheme - the same can be said for those who have yet to receive any form of support payment to date.”
The Leigh Day Hep C Compensation team are currently reviewing the study and liaising with their clients.
Gene specialises in consumer law, product liability and data protection claims mainly brought as group claims/ multi-party actions
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