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Welcome To Our Blog

This will be the place to find all breaking news and updates from Thompsons and personal injury litigation in general.

Few of us will have avoided the terrible news of Tuesday morning’s Germanwings flight 4U 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, which came down on a mountainside in the French Alps bringing the tragic loss of all of its 150 passengers and crew. As the initial shock reverberated around our homes, schools, and workplaces, there followed a palpable sense of loss and sadness in our local community but also throughout the global community, as people tried to digest the information reaching their eyes and ears.

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The publication of the report by Lord Penrose into the NHS infected blood scandal was a day of momentous importance for all the victims and their families. It was a day filled with huge emotions.....grief, anger but also resolve and utter determination to make sure that many wrongs are set right.

I share the frustrations felt by the families about the report produced by Lord Penrose. Many of us feel that more recommendations should have been made and a more definitive position on a whole series of issues should have been taken.

Having said this the real value of the Penrose Report is that it lays out in a forensic fashion the events that led to so many people in Scotland and across the UK being exposed to HIV and Hep C.

Most importantly, Lord Penrose also documents in depth the huge levels of suffering that victims have endured. Lives have been cut short. Careers have been ruined. Relationships have been ended and families have been split up. Now that the public and our politicians can see for themselves what happened we feel that true justice can no longer be denied.

So what Penrose does is it allows us to move forward with confidence that The Scottish parliament and The Scottish Government will now move quickly to resolve this matter. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has shown over many years, while she was in opposition and also while health secretary, that she both understands and supports people struck down by contaminated blood.

We now place our hopes in her hands and in the hands of health secretary Shona Robison.

We are pleased to see that the Scottish Government have issued a full and frank apology. We also now expect to see as recommended by Lord Penrose that no effort is spared to find people who were infected by Hep C but are not yet aware of the fact. And finally we expect the Scottish Government to set up their own compensation scheme for victims. The wholly inadequate schemes set up and administered by the UK government are no longer acceptable. The Scottish Government must sever it's links with the UK Schemes.  They must look across the water to the Republic of Ireland and the scheme that exists there to provide full financial redress. We therefore look to the Scottish Government to use the powers they have to make sure we have a properly funded solution set up and run in Scotland for Scotland.

As a lawyer you might be surprised to hear that I don't want to see this end up in any legal action. In common with the victims and their families I have faith that Nicola Sturgeon and her government will carry on the support they have already shown and will give us the resolution we seek without any need for the courts. Its over to you Nicola we feel sure you won't let us down.

Patrick McGuire is a partner with Thompsons Solicitors. His legal team represented the victims and their families at the Penrose Inquiry.

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As I was reading my 6 year old my favourite bed time story last night, this line jumped out at me and called to mind the merry dance that our esteemed Prime Minister has led broadcasters, his political opponents and, indeed, the entire nation as he tries to do a Billy Flynn tap dance around whether or not there will be a leaders debate as part of the General Election campaign.

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As a solicitor who acts on behalf of ‘accident’ victims, I think it’s easy to be cynical about the world. I find it difficult to list things that make me ‘happy’ at work. It’s easy to say what makes me sad, angry and frustrated. Once I get started and ranting about those I’ll not be able to stop!

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Prince Harry is set to end his 10 year military career. He is not sure what to do next. This is a common problem amongst those leaving the forces. The prospect of civilian life can be very daunting. Many people, including Prince Harry, do not have a job lined up. There are also issues regarding housing, healthcare, and financial planning.

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We were concerned earlier this week to read the comments of Roger Livermore reported by BBC Scotland and the Daily Record newspaper regarding the low number of criminal prosecutions taken against Scottish Health Boards where preventable deaths occur or patients are harmed as a consequence of their organisational failures.

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George Osborne delivered his budget Wednesday 18 March 2015. There have been major calls from the Oil industry for tax cuts to help the industry survive. Production has been going down year on year as investment has risen considerably in an effort to extract oil which is harder to get.  Throw the American shale gas boom into the equation and along with the Saudi decision not to reduce their output and suddenly the North East of Scotland is faced with a low oil price with reducing production. The industry has called for tax cuts so this is what George Osborne has now delivered, £1.6billion of tax cuts to be precise.

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In the lead up to the General Election on 7th May 2015 the British electorate will be subjected to the time-honoured burst of political spin, rhetoric and appeals to reason from the gattling guns of our political representatives.

Politicians have never truly enjoyed a reputation of honesty and rectitude, but with an alarming increase in revelations of self-interest and financial gain being exposed by the media, have our elected representatives irrevocably altered the way we regard every politician who steps on the soapbox – regardless of what comes falling from their mouth?

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