LAB set for pill group action

THE LEGAL Aid Board is to appoint a lawyer to co-ordinate claims in what looks set to be a major group action over deaths linked to a contraceptive pill.

Lawyers have been approached by more than 100 people who believe a friend or relative may have died or been injured as a result of taking Femodene.

The board decided last week to invite firms already handling claims to tender. A spokeswoman says: “All the firms which made applications on behalf of clients will be invited to apply.”

It is understood that there are two front-runners among the handful of firms likely to be approached. The winner will be chosen by the board's multi-party operation committee.

Concern has been growing over the pill – taken by approximately 400,000 women – because users have suffered from sometimes fatal blood clots.

About 25 people have already applied for a legal aid certificate to sue the maker, Schering Health Care.

Rosalie Houghton, a solicitor at Carvers of Hereford, has begun gathering evidence after being contacted by more than 100 potential claimants.

“It would appear that there are quite a number of cases out there,” she says.

“We have had so many claims in relation to one contraceptive pill that we have to establish a way forward.”