Group of 36 file legal action against Hampshire school over infected blood scandal

A GROUP of 36 people is taking legal action against a Hampshire school where pupils were given blood contaminated with HIV and hepatitis in the 1970s and 80s.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 12:05 pm
Updated Monday, 24th January 2022, 2:29 pm
Cate Gillon
Cate Gillon

Former students along with families of those who have died, are seeking damages from Lord Mayor Treloar School in Alton.

At least 72 pupils died after they were given infected blood products at the boarding school.

Read More

Read More
Wild swimmers take on winter challenges to boost mental health - with three dips...

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

In a statement, the college said: ‘We are unable to comment on the legal action taken against Treloars at this point, but we will continue to co-operate with the public inquiry into these issues and await its outcome.’

Collins Solicitors said it had lodged an application at London's High Court and it was seeking damages from Treloar’s for an alleged failure of its duty of care to its pupils with haemophilia at that time.

Des Collins, from the law firm, said: ‘We are bringing this action following new evidence heard last year at the infected blood inquiry.

‘The extraordinary testimonies of Treloar's former headmaster, house master, care staff and clinicians at the hospital attached to the school made clear a total abrogation of responsibility which has had immense repercussions for my clients.’

One of the claimants, 56-year-old Gary Webster, from Bishopstoke, told the BBC: ‘Why didn't our headmaster or other teachers want to know what was being injected into pupils in their care at the time?

‘It beggars belief. We have witnessed the deaths of so many friends while experiencing truly awful life-affecting consequences as a result of unnecessarily contracting these illnesses, is really difficult to comprehend and accept.

‘We hope that by bringing this case such trauma can never happen to anyone else.’

One Portsmouth resident and former Treloar pupil, Ade Goodyear, gave evidence at an inquiry last year.

The boarding school, in Holybourne, catered for haemophiliac children at a specialist NHS centre on site.

From 1974 to 1987 boys were given the factor VIII clotting agent, which came from abroad, including the US. Batches were widely contaminated with hepatitis A, B, C and later HIV, infecting thousands of haemophiliacs across the UK.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Subscribe here for unlimited access to all our coverage, including Pompey, for just 26p a day.