Tainted-Blood fund extended after failure to issue public notice
At least 200 potential victims of Canada's tainted-blood scandal have never been informed they could be entitled to compensation.
Only recently, and a decade after the Canadian Red Cross Society put more than $70 million into a fund for people who received diseased blood transfusions, did the fund's trustee learn no public notice was ever given about the availability of one portion of the fund.
The mix-up is the latest indignity in Canada's worst publichealth scandal, in which thousands of hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients contracted HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and other diseases in the 1980s and early 1990s.
A $500,000 sum was made available to victims who contracted blood-borne illnesses other than HIV, hepatitis C and Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (CJD). It is called the "Other Transfusions Claims Trust" or OTC Fund, one of five comprising the overall trust.
Apparently, however, no one told potential victims of the OTC money, according to recent evidence in an Ontario court.
Likely as a result, only two individuals made OTC Fund claims. Each received the $10,000 maximum.
Now, with the OTC Fund set to expire Oct. 5, an Ontario judge has granted a one-year extension, while officials scramble to get the word out and administer any resulting claims.