Defective Drug Claims

Human Growth Hormone-Related CJD Claims

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare, degenerative brain disease. There are various forms of the disease, but one particular strain (known as iatrogenic CJD) was first identified in 1985 among recipients of cadaveric human growth hormone (HGH).

HGH was a product made from human pituitary glands processed in the UK by the Medical Research Council, and the HGH programme was started in 1959. Over the years approximately 1,800 children received treatment with HGH until the programme was abandoned in 1985. If you or a member of your family developed human growth hormone-related CJD, then our solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.

One of the other forms of CJD (known as variant CJD, or vCJD) is associated with contaminated meat products, usually beef, and has been linked with BSE outbreaks (commonly known as Mad Cow Disease) in the 80s and 90s. We have extensive experience in helping our clients claim CJD compensation in both human growth hormone claims and cases of vCJD, and are here to help you too.

During the claims process, our lawyers will work closely with you to handle every aspect of your case, as well as ensuring you're able to access any care or support you need. Our exceptional knowledge and caring team has seen us ranked in the top band of law firms for defective product compensation claims by Chambers & Partners.

If you have any questions, or are interested in making a claim, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online and we'll get back to you.


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Human Hormone Growth Hormone-Related CJD Claims - More Information
    • How Much Can I Claim?
    • How much compensation you receive for an injury caused by a defective product will depend on various factors related to your injury, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim will depend on many factors, including:

      • Current and future loss of earnings from being unable to return to work
      • Medical and travel expenses you've had to pay
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Whether you need modifications to your home
      • Whether you need mobility aids or specialist equipment
      • Your pain and suffering, and the nature of any ongoing problems you have

      For more information, call us on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.


    • What's The Claims Process?
    • To make a compensation claim for an injury or illness caused by a defective product, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with us for a free consultation. We'll discuss what's happened to you, advise you on whether or not we think you can claim, and work out whether you could benefit from a No Win No Fee* arrangement.

      If you do decide to make a claim with us, we'll usually follow the same three stages:

      1. Investigation. We'll begin by determining the extent of your injury or illness, and any losses that you may experience as a result. This may involve an examination carried out by a medical expert.
      2. Compensation. We'll work out how much compensation you should get based on the severity of your injuries, your pain and suffering, any medical expenses you've had, and your ability to get back to work. We'll put this amount to your opponent, and they can either accept or contest your claim.
      3. Conclusion. If your opponent accepts liability, you'll be awarded compensation. If not, court proceedings will begin.

      Starting proceedings doesn't mean that your claim will definitely go to trial. Instead, it means that the court will put a timetable in place and manage your claim towards trial. There is still the possibility for your opponent to settle.

      If you do have to go to court, we'll be there to support you every step of the way. If we agreed to handle your claim under a No Win No Fee* arrangement, then you won't have to pay anything if you are unsuccessful.

      If you have any questions about the claims process, please contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for your free initial consultation.


    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

Manufacturers have a duty to their customers to ensure the products they release to the market are fit for purpose and safe for their intended use."

Tim Annett, Partner
Defective Products

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know If I Got CJD From Human Growth Hormone?

CJD is rare, and CJD caused by human growth hormone is even rarer. Only one type of human growth hormone was associated with a risk of CJD, and this was made by the Hartee Wilhemi process. Whether or not this type of HGH was given can be established through a person's medical records.

There are also a number of known treatment programmes where HGH was used. For example, from 1971-1984, a treatment programme was took place at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Children treated in the programme received allocations of growth hormone from batches processed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) with injections administered three times a week.

HGH was developed as a treatment for individuals of unusually short stature, and it was made using pituitary glands from deceased individuals. The MRC, funded by the UK government, started trials in 1959.

In July 1977 a link between HGH and CJD was acknowledged, but it was not until 1985 when patients started to develop CJD that the use of growth hormone developed from human pituitary glands was abandoned in the UK. HGH is still in use today, but only in a synthetic form.

Between 1991 and 1999, a series of trials took place at the High Court which found that the Department of Health was liable for cases of iatrogenic CJD, and should compensate patients who had been diagnosed if they'd been treated after 1 July 1977.

Testing for CJD is difficult and in most cases a firm diagnosis can only be made after the individual has died.

If you or a loved one has suffered from CJD and you're unsure if there's a link to HGH, we can help you establish whether or not this is the case. If CJD was not caused by HGH, you may still be able to claim, but the process may be different. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online for a free initial consultation about your case.

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What Are The Differences Between CJD And vCJD Claims?

Cases of variant CJD (vCJD) are dealt with by the vCJD Trust, which is a fund set up to compensate victims of vCJD and their families, with guidelines as to what compensation can be awarded and who is entitled to claim compensation.

The process is meant to be more straightforward than a standard compensation claim, but it doesn't stop you from making a claim through the courts if you wish, or if we believe you can achieve a higher settlement that way. We'll be able to advise you on this if it applies to your case.

CJD claims relating to HGH are dealt with by the Department of Health. There is no formal scheme for making a claim, so it will follow the normal claims process detailed above. If you or a loved one has received HGH, then we will need to prove through medical records that this has happened, and provide evidence of a CJD diagnosis, in order to make a claim.

It's also possible to make a psychiatric injury claim if you are what's known as 'worried well' – someone who can only be told that they have received potentially contaminated HGH, which may lead to this invariably fatal neurological condition, for which there is still no test and no cure.

If you have any questions, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with us – you can call us on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online for a free initial consultation, where we'll be glad to discuss your options.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A CJD Compensation Claim?

Our experience in product liability, defective drug and medical negligence cases means we're expertly placed to handle Human Growth Hormone-Related CJD and vCJD claims. We've helped many clients claim compensation for their own illness, or for the loss of a loved one, and we may be able to help you too.

We have a great deal of experience in claiming compensation from both the Department of Health and the vCJD Trust, and we understand the physical difficulties, anger and lasting trauma which cases like these can cause. It can be difficult to know who is to blame and who ought to be held accountable for your illness or injury, and in these situations, it helps to have the experts on your side.

In 1992, when news broke that there was a risk of CJD connected with HGH treatments, we were one of the first two firms on the Legal Aid Steering Committee running the cases. We've been working on HGH claims since the very beginning, and have helped our clients claim settlements of between £3,500 and £300,000 – find out more about our work on CJD claims.

Helping our clients access the medical care and support they need, including physiotherapy, surgery and mental health support, as well as mobility aids and home modifications, is as important to us as pursuing financial compensation. This support is essential for adapting to life after an injury, and our approach has seen us win Post Magazine’s Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors on seven occasions.

If you have any questions about making a claim, or how we can help, then please don't hesitate to give us a call today on 0800 056 4110, or contact us online, for a free initial consultation on your case. We're here to help.

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Injuries and illness can have a lasting effect on your life. We're proud to have won Post Magazine’s Rehabilitation Award for Claimant Solicitors on seven occasions, recognising our commitment to getting our clients the care and support they need to get their lives back on track.


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