Femodene lawyer heads LAB claims

THE lawyer who pioneered claims over deaths and injuries linked to the contraceptive pill Femodene has been chosen by the Legal Aid Board to spearhead the group action.

LAB officials awarded the certificate to co-ordinate claims to the newly-merged Hereford firm Carvers Lewis & Tomkins.

The task of organising subsequent actions will fall to solicitor Rosalie Houghton, who has worked on Femodene cases for the past three years.

As a solicitor with Carvers – which merged with neighbouring firm Lewis & Tomkins two years ago – she initiated 91 actions and carried out much of the preliminary research.

Houghton says: “We hope to be able to bring a successful action against the drugs company. We have got 45 clients who have been granted legal aid.”

The claims stem from the allegedly high number of deaths and injuries among women who have used the Femodene pill. Victims are claimed to have suffered blood clots which were sometimes fatal.

Approximately 400,000 women use the Femodene pill. It is manufactured by pharmaceuticals company Schering, which has a British arm Schering Healthcare.

Houghton says in addition to winning damages, she hopes to force a change in the law to make companies warn customers more clearly of any potential dangers.

City lawyers McKenna & Co are acting for Schering Healthcare in the action.