Fargie-v-Scottish Ministers  CSOH 117
25 August 2008
By September 1991, medical science had advanced sufficiently that a screening test for Hepatitis C could be carried out on blood or blood products to be used in NHS treatment. But prior to the introduction of screening, a number of people had been treated by the NHS with contaminated blood or blood products and had contracted Hepatitis C. In 2004, an ex gratia compensation fund called the Skipton Fund was set up to give compensation to Hepatitis C sufferers meeting its eligibility criteria. One eligibility criterion was that the claimant must not have died prior to 29 August 2003, which was the date of the UK wide announcement of the compensation scheme.
In this case, Mr Fargie had suffered from Hepatitis C, but he had died on 7 March 2003. His widow unsuccessfully sought to challenge the 29 August 2003 cut off date for compensation. The grounds of review were rationality, proportionality, legitimate expectation, human rights (A1P1 and A14), futility and delay.
The Scottish Ministers, for whom David Johnston QC and Anna Poole of Axiom Advocates acted, succeeded in the action. The full decision can be accessed at: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2008csoh117.html.
[ Back to news page ]