- Posted by Massimo Mellaro
Blood transfusion, in Italy, who has the right to receive compensation?
Unfortunately, after a blood transfusion or even after blood drawing for routine blood tests, one can discover one has contracted a fatal blood disease. We have only to think of how HIV contagion occurs.
In such a situation, many questions arise as regards the payment of damages and indemnity to the subject who contracted the disease or else to the relations in the case of death.
The Italian norms on compensation are contained in the combination of Law no. 210/1992 integrated by Law no. 238/1997. Both laws establish that all those who have suffered damages as a result of blood transfusions, vaccinations and/or blood drawing have the right to compensation. The 1992 norms indicated which subjects could entitled to obtain compensation after the death of the victim, that is to say dependents: the spouse, children if minors, or adults but unable to work for medical reasons, the parents, siblings if minors, or adults but unable to work for medical reasons. With Law no. 238/1997, the list was extended to include children or siblings of any age, in short all dependents.
The compensation can be an allowance or an ‘una tantum’ (once only) cheque, and the amount was increased in the 1997 Law to 150 million lire.
With the recent judgement of 11 May 2018 no. 11407, the Supreme Court ‘Corte di Cassazione‘ has cast further light on the identification of those subjects who can receive the indemnity cheque on the death of the victim. The Court has established that these subjects are cohabiting subjects or dependents, as indicated in the 1992 norms but not reiterated in the 1997 law. The Court underlines that the right depends on cohabitation not succession, passed in order to prevent cohabitants from suffering a financial loss as well as bereavement.
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