Jason Evans, a leading campaigner with regard to the highly publicised "Contaminated Blood Scandal" of the 1970s and 1980s, in which many haemophiliacs were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through their treatment on the NHS with contaminated blood products such as Factor 8, recently instructed Bell Lax with regard to a potential defamation claim.
Mr Evans was unhappy with a statement in Ken Clarke MP’s memoirs, “Kind of Blue”, that the victims of the Scandal were eventually “given compensation” by John Major’s government. On a number of occasions, ministers had stated publicly that the payments were not compensation and were simply ex gratia payments.
As an active campaigner on behalf of those victims, Mr Evans was concerned that the belief that they had already received compensation, if it spread among the public, could affect them receiving the compensation for which he and others were campaigning.
Bell Lax acted for Mr Evans, and, following the Letter Before Action sent by Bell Lax on Mr Evans’ behalf to Mr Clarke and his book’s publishers, it was agreed by all parties that the relevant sentence in “Kind of Blue” should be amended so that it read “ex gratia payment” rather than “compensation”.
Bell Lax are pleased to have satisfactorily and amicably resolved this issue on our client’s behalf.
Mr Evans said “I was very happy with the outcome and the amendment that was made in the book thanks to Bell Lax. I would not hesitate to contact them for similar matters in the future." Mr Evans also states that anyone affected by the "Contaminated Blood Scandal" can read more information about it at the website https://www.factor8scandal.uk.