17 March 1999
Families of CJD victims to sue government
FAMILIES of the victims of the human form of mad cow disease will start legal action against the government this week for allegedly failing to protect their food from infected beef.
Writs seeking damages for loss, pain and suffering endured by patients before death and the consequences for partners, children and carers, are expected to be issued by Friday.
Relatives of 39 people who have died since May 1995, and six patients still alive but suspected to be suffering from the same disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), will be represented in a group action.
The families will allege that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishers and Food, and the Department of Health, demonstrated a failure of “due care” by exposing people to the risk of catching the incurable and fatal condition.
Court action is not expected for several months, and will come after the publication of the official report into whether civil servants and ministers responded adequately to the BSE crisis.
- The Guardian 17/03/99 page 11