Victims of the contaminated blood scandal in the 1970s and 1980s have won a ruling allowing them to launch a High Court action to seek damages.
An official of the court said it was “appropriate” to issue an order allowing a potential 500 claimants – surviving victims and families of the deceased – to claim compensation.
Thousands of NHS patients were given blood products from abroad that were infected with hepatitis C and HIV.
At least 2,400 people died.
In July, Prime Minister Theresa May announced a UK-wide inquiry into the scandal, which has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
Many of those affected, and their families, believe they were not told of the risks involved and there was a cover-up.
Lawyers acting for the Department of Health, which is named as a defendant in the case, argued the court application was “premature”.