€2.9m for victim of blood product contamination

A victim of contaminated blood products last year received an award of €2.9m from the State.

That is according to the 2015 annual report of the hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal, which confirms awards totalling €943m have been paid out since it was set up in 1995.

An additional €167m for related legal costs has been paid out over the past two decades, bringing the total bill to the State to €1.1bn.

The €167m in legal fees over the past two decades concerns 3,661 claims.

The 2015 annual report states that €15.9m was paid out in compensation in 2015 to claimants — and their relatives — who were infected with hepatitis C and HIV through contaminated blood products more than two decades ago.

The figures show the three legal firms to get the largest amount in fees in 2015 were Arthur McLean, receiving over €600,000; Malcomson Law, receiving over €460,000; and Ivor Fitzpatrick, receiving over €300,000.

There were 60 awards made by the tribunal during 2015 and the total amount awarded was €14.3m ,with the average being €238,467.

The awards ranges from €30,423 to the €2.9m.

In her report, tribunal chairwoman Karen O’Driscoll SC said: “52 new claims were submitted in 2015 making a total of 4,783 to the end of 2015. While the Tribunal paid awards in 59 cases in 2015, approximately 524 claims are still awaiting hearing. The Tribunal continues to be able to assign a hearing date without delay to any claim in which full supporting documentation has been lodged.”

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