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02 December 2013

UK Thalidomide Victims Hope Australian Compensation Payout Helps Their Claims

UK Thalidomide Victims Hope Australian Compensation Payout Helps Their Claims

UK Thalidomide victims have renewed hope for a swift resolution to their case following a multi-million pound compensation settlement secured by Slater & Gordon AU for claimants in Australia and New Zealand.

Update 5th June 2014 - Slater & Gordon UK have issued legal proceedings against the pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor of Thalidomide. For complete details see Thalidomide Compensation UK.

The $A89 (£50m) settlement of two class actions brought on behalf of Australian and New Zealand thalidomide claimants by Slater & Gordon was announced overnight.

The class actions had been against Grünenthal, the German inventor and manufacturer of thalidomide, and the UK Distillers companies which distributed the drug in Australia.

And while Grünenthal still refuses to assist victims of its catastrophic drug, Diageo (which acquired Distillers in 1986) has agreed to a settlement to assist these Australian and New Zealand thalidomide claimants.

A similar action is intended to run in the UK by Slater & Gordon jointly with Leigh Day against Grünenthal and Diageo on behalf of more than 100 victims of Thalidomide.

Slater & Gordon Group Litigation Lawyer Fraser Whitehead, said “The settlement in Australia is heartening news for the victims of thalidomide in the UK who have been fighting for justice for years.

“We know there are still many victims of thalidomide in the UK who have never received any compensation for the injuries they suffered as a result of this drug. We hope this latest settlement signals that our case in the UK will now have a swift resolution.

“We welcome the equitable settlement reached with Diageo and hope for a similar outcome in the UK.

“We also call on Grünenthal to face up to its shocking behaviour and compensate UK victims.

“Now that the case in Australia has been resolved we look forward to working with our colleagues there to bring our UK action to a swift resolution.”

Thalidomide damaged unborn children when taken in early pregnancy. The drug was very popular as a sleeping medication, sedative and morning sickness drug in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Fraser Whitehead is Head of Group Litigation at Slater & Gordon Lawyers in London.

For more information or a free consultation about claiming compensation for Thalidomide damage, call Slater & Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9015 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.

Slater & Gordon UK have over 1,200 staff in 18 offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Halifax, Newcastle, Wakefield & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.

Slater & Gordon AU have 1,200 staff in 70 locations across Australia.