The administrators of a class action settlement for people infected with hepatitis C during Canada’s tainted blood scandal are appealing for people who missed a deadline for compensation to come forward and make a claim.
Thousands of Canadians were infected with the liver disease after receiving tainted blood transfusions or blood products between 1986 and 1990.
Under a class-action settlement approved by the courts in 1999, potential claimants to compensation were given a deadline of June 30, 2010 to file a claim.
The UK government has announced a full inquiry into how thousands of people were infected with hepatitis C and HIV by contaminated blood transfusions, following a long campaign by backbench MPs and pressure groups.
The decision by Downing Street came hours before the government faced possible defeat in a vote on an emergency motion about the need for an inquiry into the scandal, which is believed to have contributed to 2,400 deaths.
Theresa May’s spokesman said she and the British health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, had told the cabinet on Tuesday that an inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal was required.
VANCOUVER, Sept. 27, 2016 /CNW/ – Most Canadians thought the tainted blood tragedy had been fully addressed. But there are hundreds of tainted blood victims still waiting for the compensation that was promised to them by the Government of Canada.
Lawyers representing some of the more than 500 victims in the pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis-C settlement group filed a submission last week in Vancouver requesting that the courts of Ontario, Québec and British Columbia address a $65 million shortfall in their settlement fund.
“This is an issue of equity,” said David Klein, managing partner of Klein Lawyers LLP, representing pre-1986/post-1990 Hepatitis C victims. “We have one group of victims whose claims were just topped up a month ago, when a $250 million surplus in their fund was distributed to victims. And we have another group of victims who submitted their claims on time, have been approved, and are still awaiting compensation.”
Canadians who contracted hepatitis C from tainted blood before 1986 and after 1990 are appealing to the federal government to right what they say is a basic unfairness and provide them with compensation equal to that given to those infected between those years.
Although there is more than enough cash to cover an original settlement with those infected between 1986, when the United States began testing donated blood, and 1990, when Canada began screening, one of the funds established as part of a subsequent deal to compensate those who contracted hepatitis C outside of that time frame has run dry.
Without any direct legal recourse, and having failed in a bid to have a portion of an estimated $240-million that sits as excess in a fund for the 1986-1990 class transferred to top up the empty fund, the uncompensated victims are now reaching out to the government, through the court, to ask that everyone be treated equally.