08/05/2015 08:02 EDT | Updated 08/05/2016 01:12 EDT

Halifax woman who led class action in blood transfusion case dies

HALIFAX — A Halifax woman who was the lead plaintiff in a $1.18 billion class-action settlement for those infected with hepatitis C has died.

Lawyer Dawna Ring says Diane Forsythe died Saturday at the age of 64.

Forsythe became known nationally under her maiden name, Diane Parsons, for leading the legal fight for those infected with hepatitis C from blood transfusions.

Her family doctor, Patricia Beresford, says Forsythe, who had a bleeding disorder, became ill after getting a blood transfusion prior to dental surgery in 1989.

At the time, Canada had not instituted surrogate testing for hepatitis C.

A funeral is to be held today in Halifax.

The Canadian Press