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Deadline set for hepatitis C class action claims

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Media Release

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Victorian women who were infected with the hepatitis C virus at a Croydon clinic have until Monday, 19 May to come forward and potentially join the class action currently on foot to receive a share of the proposed $13.75 million settlement.

Last month Slater & Gordon announced the proposed settlement of the class action for about 60 women who were infected by Dr James Latham Peters at Croydon Day Surgery between 2008 and 2009.

Representing the lead plaintiff and most of the known victims, the firm’s senior class action lawyer Julie Clayton has urged other women who believe they contracted the virus to seek legal advice and determine whether they are also entitled to take part in the settlement.

Ms Clayton said the Supreme Court of Victoria today approved a timetable for consideration of the proposed settlement that requires claimants in the class action to register their claims by Monday, 19 May 2014.

“Although about 60 women are known to be participating in the case, it is possible that some of Dr Peters’ victims have not yet come forward,” Ms Clayton said.

“The proposed settlement of the class action is a very important development for all of the victims, but it will only be available to women who come forward before the deadline.

“Anyone who does not register before the deadline will potentially miss out on receiving a share of the $13.75 million settlement.

“Women who haven’t registered their claim by the deadline may be left out of the distribution of the settlement money if the court approves the settlement, so it’s crucial that anyone who thinks they might be a group member in the case takes action immediately.”

Ms Clayton said the Supreme Court also made orders protecting the identities of group members in the case meaning that anyone who comes forward to participate in the settlement will have their anonymity preserved.

The proposed settlement of the class action is subject to the approval of the Supreme Court and will be considered at the next hearing on 5 June, 2014.

Any women who believe they contracted hepatitis C from Dr Peters should contact Slater & Gordon on 1800 555 777 or access the settlement documents at https://www.slatergordon.com.au/class-actions/current-class-actions/hepatitis-c.

Alternatively, they can visit the Supreme Court of Victoria class actions website http://www.scvclassactions.com.au.