Man infected by ‘bad blood’ vows to continue compensation battle

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Posted 13/04/2010

A haemophiliac man from Norwich who was infected with hepatitis C via bad blood he received from the NHS has said he will continue to battle for compensation for as long as it takes.

Michael Colyer, 57, was one of the 4,670 people exposed to the disease in the 1970s and 1980s in what Lord Manchester called the “worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS”.

Patients were given blood which came from the US, despite it having been taken from prisoners who were more likely to have blood-borne diseases.

In February 2009, a government inquiry criticised the NHS and ministers for not compensating the victims of the blunders, many of whom have now died.

However, Mr Colyer told the Norwich Evening News that the government seems to have pushed the compensation back because of the election.

Despite this, he has said he will continue his campaign for justice.

“We will go on and on until it’s resolved. If we give up now, it would have been pointless starting the fight 25 years ago,” he added.

Haemophilia Society chairman Liz Rizzuto also urged Britons to support the victims’ legal battle.

Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, who heads the Ashtons Legal Clinical Negligence team, said: “One can only admire Michael Colyer for keeping up the struggle for justice in what must be approaching the longest battle for compensation ever.

“There really is no reason for this given that the evidential issues which, if complex, can cause delays – albeit not decades – do not apply here. We know who is to blame, what happened and what is wrong with the sufferers. But despite this, a 25-year battle, and the criticism of a government inquiry, the battle continues. One has to ask why? Incompetence? Inertia? Or,cynically, the hope that there will be fewer and fewer left to compensate?

Good Luck to Mr Colyer. We support him and wish him and his fellow sufferers success, and soon.”


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