In 1968 drug Company Distillers offered 62 Thalidomide children and their families in the UK a very modest compensation amount. The families’ lawyers themselves believed they had a weak claim and advised their clients to accept Distillers’ deal: 40 percent of what they would have paid if the children had been able to win the negligence case in court (40 percent would have amounted to a one-time payment of around £20,000 per person). Distillers insisted on a signature from every involved family, otherwise there would be no money at all.
An agreement wasn’t reached until 1973. By then many additional affected families had joined the claim. Also the media, notably the Sunday Times, had taken on the case of the “Thalidomide children”.
Source: Michael Magazanik: Silent Shock. The Men behind the Thalidomide Scandal and an Australian Family’s Long Road to Justice. Melbourne 2015, Chapter 14: Greedy Hearts.