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Thalidomide was a sedative and morning sickness drug given to pregnant women in the 1950s and 1960s. The drug led to 1,000s of babies being born with disabilities.
In 1972, following a legal battle and a high profile campaign, compensation was awarded to sufferers. The Thalidomide Trust was also established which, to this day, continues to provide support to Thalidomide survivors.
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What is Thalidomide?
Thalidomide is a sedative and morning sickness drug that was given to pregnant women in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The drug caused babies to be born with disabilities, including shortened limbs, blindness, deafness and brain damage.
Were Thalidomide sufferers ever compensated?
In 1968, after a lengthy legal battle, financial compensation was paid to 62 Thalidomide-affected children (referred to as 'Thalidomiders') that had been born in the UK.
Compensation awards were set at 40% of the level of assessed damages. The level of compensation was considered to be inadequate and the families of sufferers continued to campaign.
In 1972, the Sunday Times newspaper launched a campaign in support of those sufferers that had not been compensated in 1968. The campaign was successful and in 1973, a further 367 children received financial compensation calculated on the same basis as in 1968.
Compensation is usually calculated with reference to the Judicial College Tables. For more information on how compensation is calculated for injury, illness and medical negligence cases, see our injury compensation calculator.
The Thalidomide Trust was also established as a result of the campaign.
The Thalidomide Trust
The Thalidomide Trust was established in 1973 to provide support and financial assistance for people living with the effects of
Thalidomide. The charity exists to this day, providing help, information and advice to Thalidomide sufferers.
Can you still claim compensation for Thalidomide?
Yes. Thalidomide survivors are still eligible to claim compensation.
New scientific research appears to suggest the drug Thalidomide may have caused a wider range of deformities than previously thought.
Since 2010 The Thalidomide Trust has received a Health Grant to help support the ongoing health needs of Thalidomide sufferers.
If you believe that you or your child were affected by Thalidomide, you can call the Thalidomide Trust on 01480 474074 or email at: email@example.com.
The Trust will be able to advise you about how to claim compensation for pain and suffering caused as a result of Thalidomide.
Chris Salmon, Director
About the author
Chris Salmon is a co-founder and Director of Quittance Legal Services. Chris has played key roles in the shaping and scaling of a number of legal services brands and is a regular commentator in the legal press.