The civil litigation* team at Ivor Fitzpatrick & Company, led by Susan Stapleton, Partner, have fought vigorously since the outbreak of the Hepatitis C scandal in 1994 to secure the rights of victims infected with Hepatitis C and/ or HIV as result of the administration of infected blood products or blood transfusions in the State.
Our team acted for the late Brigid McCole in her High Court case during which information emerged through the discovery of documents which put the scandal in a different light. Instead of being a terrible accident, it emerged that the disaster resulted from almost incomprehensible negligence by the BTSB. During the ruling of Brigid McCole’s case the State issued a public apology to Mrs. McCole and her family.
The Firm acted for Positive Action, the umbrella group for the victims of Hepatitis C infection, in its negotiations with the Department of Health to secure a statutory compensation scheme, a health care scheme and an insurance scheme on best terms.
Our team represented the Anti D women before the Finlay Tribunal investigation which yielded the Finlay report in 1997.
The Firm advised on the drafting of the Hepatitis C compensation Tribunal Acts, 1997 – 2006, which resulted in the establishment of the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal which currently provides compensation for:-
- persons infected with Hepatitis C/HIV as a result of the administration of contaminated human immunoglobulin anti-d, blood/blood product transfusions within the Republic of Ireland.
- spouses/partners of persons infected for their own loss of consortium,
- persons who have lost earnings as a result of caring for the person infected with Hepatitis C / HIV
- families/dependents of persons who have died where Hepatitis C/HIV was a contributing factor to their death.
Our team has represented several hundred Claimants and secured significant compensation for our clients before the Hepatitis C & HIV Compensation Tribunal and the High Court on Appeal.
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Where we can help
It is important to seek our expert advice on whether you have grounds to bring a claim.
A unique component of the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal scheme is that the Tribunal may make a provisional, as opposed to a final award.
The legislation provides for the making of a provisional award where there is a possibility but not a probability that a claimant, as a result of having contracted Hepatitis C or HIV or both, may suffer particular serious consequences in the future. Many claimants who brought their claims before the Tribunal received a provisional award with the right to return for further compensation if an unexpected medical event occurred. We have acted for a significant number of claimants for whom the unexpected medical event occurred in their return to the tribunal for further compensation for this event. If you have received a provisional award and your condition has deteriorated, it is important to seek our expert advice.
Our Legal Expertise
Ivor Fitzpatrick & Company is one of the longest serving and most experienced firms in Ireland in this area. Every member of our team of Solicitors has developed significant expertise having spent a minimum of ten years working on Hepatitis C claims.
Susan Stapleton, a founding member of the firm, leads our experienced and specialised expert litigation and advisory team on all aspects of Hepatitis C / HIV matters.
Susan and her experienced team of Solicitors continue to represent clients and their families in:
- Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal claims involving Anti-D or blood transfusions
- Appeals from a Tribunal decision to the High Court and Supreme Court
- Infections caused during or post birth to mother or child as a result of contaminated blood product / blood transfusions
- Infections caused during surgery as a result of contaminated blood / blood product transfusions
- Loss of consortium and carer’s claims for spouses / partners of persons infected in the above circumstances
- Dependency claims for families of those who have sadly died as a result of their infection
One of our experienced Solicitors can evaluate your case and advise.