A prolonged legal battle against a dentist, whose negligence led to an HIV scare, is set to be discontinued after a challenging eight-year pursuit for damages. Alan Morrison, 61, who managed dental clinics in Ayrshire, was officially removed from the dental register in 2016 for endangering his patients by utilising unhygienic tools.

The regional health board took drastic action and locked up his establishments in Cumnock and Drongan following a tip-off from a whistleblower in 2013. At least 2250 patients were screened for systemic viral infections due to his practices. A surprising four tested positive for hepatitis C, but it remains uncertain if the infection was acquired at the dentist’s office.

This case spurred one of the largest group lawsuits in Scottish history, with nearly 800 patients pursuing legal redress from Morrison. Thompsons Solicitors, representing the clients, have indicated that they have exhausted all avenues for legal recourse. They recommended their clients to accept Morrison’s proposal to terminate all lawsuits without additional costs.

David Reid, 68, a patient of Morrison, voices his displeasure over the verdict, asserting that justice has not been upheld. Reid states, “Morrison conceded his culpability and was already discharged once before these violations came up; it’s just not acceptable that he’s avoided the proper penalties.”

He goes on to share the emotional impact this ordeal had on him and his family, particularly recalling a heart-wrenching moment where his granddaughter questioned why he seemed distant and avoided hugging her due to his concerns about infecting her.

Morrison declared bankruptcy in 2016, but Thompsons promised to persist with their lawsuit. Yet their operations were halted in mid-2023 when the pivotal patient in the lawsuit was denied an appeal. The courts had previously determined that Morrison was not liable for the patient’s acute stress disorder, which arose from the fear of contracting a blood-transmitted infection.

Thompsons expressed reservation about the court’s ruling, stating their regret that they could not further back the litigation process. Although a court decision on whether Thompsons can prosecute on behalf of other clients is yet to be confirmed, the firm have indicated their inability to continue funding the legal proceedings due to substantial litigation costs.

David Reid adds to his grievances, stating, “I’m very frustrated. This lawsuit has been dragging on for almost a decade, and now it feels like we’ve been left in the lurch.”

Thompsons have kept their statements brief regarding the issue, simply stating they are unable to comment at the moment due to ongoing legal issues but will issue a comprehensive statement soon.