Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1455)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

1455. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the number of families that applied for assistance from the hepatitis C and HIV compensation tribunal that are still waiting for their cases to be resolved; and the legal fees paid to solicitors by the tribunal to date. [32967/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Hepatitis C & HIV Compensation Tribunal was established on a non-statutory basis in December 1995 and was put on a statutory footing in November 1997 by means of the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal Act.  An amending Act was passed in 2002 extending the remit of the Tribunal to include HIV. The 2002 Act also introduced additional heads of claim for the relatives of infected persons: loss of consortium, dependency losses, loss of society, post-traumatic stress and care claims. The legislation also provides for the right of appeal to the High Court in respect of decisions of the Tribunal.

The Tribunal has been hearing claims on a continuous basis since March 1996.  The Tribunal advises that there are 434 claims outstanding, of which 371 relate to secondary claimants (i.e. spouses, carers and/or dependents of primary claimants).  The Tribunal further advises that generally, once all the documentation has been received and the claimants Solicitor has indicated that the case is ready to proceed, a suitable hearing date is allocated.

Also, the Tribunal regularly requests updates from the legal representatives of claimants as to whether outstanding cases can be listed for hearing. 

A total of €181,520,135 has been paid in legal fees to solicitors by the Tribunal to date.  This includes legal fees associated with High Court Appeals.