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Full report: Thalidomide compensation a step closer

Compensation for survivors of Thalidomide may be a step closer.

A campaigner from our region says there's been "a very fruitful meeting" with a senior European official in Brussels.

The group he is part of is fighting for compensation from the German pharmaceutical company which developed the morning sickness drug.

It led to thousands of babies being born with birth defects in the 1960s.

Chris Kiddey reports.


Families win compensation battle with travel operator

The Skee family from Gateshead Credit: ITV News

Holidaymakers left devastated after their 4-star Bulgarian holidays were ruined by illness have won their battle for compensation. Sandra and Mick Skee from Gateshead, were one of a number from our region to suffer serious stomach problems during their stay at the Royal Park hotel in 2008.

Four years on they have finally won their legal battle with tour operator First Choice.

Victim of alleged abuse demands justice

One of the victims of alleged sexual abuse at a Roman Catholic School has spoken out to demand justice for himself and other former pupils.

Graham Baverstock has given up his right to anonymity to describe what he says happened to him at St William's School near Middlesbrough, when he was a boy.

Today the Supreme Court is hearing a case to decide how much compensation the Roman Catholic Diocese of Middlesbrough must pay to victims of the alleged abuse.

St William's closed in 1992 and the headteacher, Father James Carragher, was jailed for sexually abusing young boys.

The school's nominal employers, Middlesbrough Diocese, was ruled to be liable to pay compensation to the alleged victims.

But the diocese argues the school was staffed by a Catholic order of lay teachers called the De La Salle Institute, which should foot part of the bill.

Former alleged victims say the delay is a further insult to their childhood ordeal.

Solicitor welcomes Supreme Court asbestos ruling

Relatives of workers who died of an asbestos related cancer have won a compensation fight at the Supreme Court.

Judges have ruled that liability of insurance companies was "triggered" when employees were exposed to asbestos dust and not when cancer symptoms emerged, sometimes decades later.

Roger Maddocks, from the Newcastle office of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors says it's welcome news for those suffering from mesothelioma.


Reaction to asbestos announcement

A lawyer representing the lead case in today's Supreme Court judgment on asbestos-related cancer said it provided "clarity, consistency and comfort" for the families of victims.

The ruling said insurers covering employers at the time of exposure to the illness were liable for the illness.

Helen Ashton from Irwin Mitchell, who represented the lead claimant in the case, said the judgment means the families of the thousands of victims would "get access to justice and receive the financial security they need."

“Asbestos-related disease is the biggest killer in the workplace in Britain, causing more than 5,000 deaths every year. The number of people affected by mesothelioma is still rising and because of the time it can take for this illness to develop it is expected to peak around 2015."