The Contergan Foundation for Disabled People and DLA Piper publish international study
14 Mar 2012
The Contergan Foundation for Disabled People is presenting a comparative study prepared by DLA Piper of the law and facts concerning benefits paid to people damaged by thalidomide in 21 countries around the world.
The Contergan Foundation for Disabled People commissioned the law firm DLA Piper to carry out the “International Study of Benefits and Claims of Thalidomide Victims in 21 Countries”. The results are now available. Comparing legal and factual aspects, the study covers 21 countries, namely Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The subject matter of the study in comparative law is a clarification of the legal and factual issues of granting claims to people damaged by thalidomide. Aspects covered include the number of people damaged and the existence of lobby groups as well as any valid legal principles for benefits. Essentially this concerns the benefits granted to damage victims both at present and in the past. The contents focus on the total and average amounts of benefits paid to date in each of the states and the question as to whether each respective state grants regular or one-off payments. Within this context, the study also clarifies the issue of a possible capitalization of state benefits. Another principal constituent of the study is how the conditions for benefits are presented and how proof is supplied by people who have suffered damage. The study not only encompasses specific regulations but also general social benefits to which disabled people are entitled in the respective countries.
Also compared were the total payments made to thalidomide victims up until 31 December 2011. The total amount of roughly 480,000,000 euros paid by Germany is not matched by any other country that has disclosed its total sum.
The study was drawn up under the supervision of Dr Ludger Giesberts and Dr Thilo Streit, DLA Piper, Cologne.