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OITA (Kyodo) A 61-year-old man filed a suit Friday seeking state relief and damages for being infected with hepatitis C from tainted blood products, which are not covered under a 2008 law on blanket relief for people with the infectious disease.

The plaintiff lodged the suit with the Oita District Court seeking the law to be applied to him and ¥2 million in damages.

In Tokyo, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said this was the first lawsuit filed by a patient with hepatitis C who was given tainted blood products not covered by the relief law.

According to the suit, the man underwent heart surgery at Kurume University Hospital in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, in 1976, and was administered the blood products globulin and albumin.

He developed symptoms of acute hepatitis, including jaundice, two weeks later. He was confirmed to be infected with hepatitis C, according to the legal document.

The plaintiff was found suffering from cirrhosis of the liver in 2007 and was confirmed in 2010 to have developed liver cancer, the document says.

The plaintiff’s counsel said there were no other chances for the plaintiff to have contracted hepatitis C except when he was administered the blood products.

The relief law, which was enacted in January 2008, offers blanket relief to people with hepatitis C caused by tainted blood products such as fibrinogen. Globulin and albumin are not covered by the law.

Under the law, people who contracted hepatitis C from contaminated blood products such as fibrinogen will receive compensation ranging from ¥12 to ¥40 million per person depending on the severity of the case.

Hepatitis C is a liver disease mainly transmitted by blood.

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