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Ex-apprentice wins CJD claim.

DAVID LOCKHART, a former apprentice with Henry Cecil, has been awarded pounds 13,000 in recognition of the stress caused by the fear of developing Creutzfeld-Jacob disease.

Lockhart, 27, was one of 2,000 people treated with human growth hormone as part of a programme launched in 1959 and ended in 1985, when a 22 year- old woman died of CJD.

Since then, another 26 people treated with the growth hormone, extracted from the pituitary glands of corpses, have contracted CJD, an invariably fatal disease.

The government has accepted that it was negligent in failing to act on a warning delivered by Dr Alan Dickinson in 1977, the year that Lockhart's treatment started.

Recent legal action has revolved around the question of compensation.

In the High Court on Friday, Mr Justice Morland ruled that the claimants had "rational fears" about "succumbing to a ghastly, lingering death from CJD."

He awarded sums ranging from pounds 3,500 to pounds 300,000 to each of the six claimants, a judgement expected to pave the way for compensation claims by up to 40 others.

Lockhart, who has given up his job at Cecil's yard, said yesterday: "I had hoped to get a bigger sum, but my claim for loss of earnings will be heard next month and my lawyers are hopeful of a more substantial sum from that action."

He continued: "All of us would much rather be free of the risk of getting CJD than have any amount of money, but we should be compensated for the government's negligence and I'm still angry that we were forced to go to court to be compensated.

"I doubt if I will be able to work in racing again and am currently doing a bit of car valeting and driving, but it's a seasonal job.

"I'm not very optimistic about my future."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Ashforth, David
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 22, 1998
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