A Supreme Court judge has signed off on the $13.75 million settlement for the women involved in a class action against drug-addicted anaesthetist James Latham Peters for infecting them with hepatitis C.
Justice David Beach formally approved the deal on Thursday, describing it as "conspicuously fair".
The case had been due to go to trial on April 28 before the 62 women agreed to the settlement offer.
Final approval was delayed while advertisements were taken out alerting any other victims of their possible right to a share of the settlement money.
Justice Beach said the payouts to each woman would vary according to various factors including whether or not a woman had been diagnosed with hepatitis C and what treatment she had received. There are some strains of hepatitis C that do not respond to treatment.
The judge said the settlement was complicated, with one woman expecting to receive between $32,000 to $42,000 while another woman would get between $299,000 and $326,000.
A small number of women had expressed concerns about the different payouts but the judge considered on balance that they were fair.
The court was told only one known victim had yet to join the class action and she had until June 19 to register for a share of the settlement.
The women had sued Peters, Croydon Day Surgery, Dr Mark Schulberg (who hired Peters as an anaesthetist at the clinic and who operated the clinic at the time) and the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for damages for pain and suffering, economic loss and medical expenses.
AHPRA replaced the former Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria, which has responsibility for registering doctors in Victoria.
The claim against Peters was eventually dropped when it was revealed he had no assets.
The class action covered women who had been infected with hepatitis C during pregnancy terminations at the Croydon Day Surgery between June 2008 and December 2009 when Peters was the anaesthetist.
Peters, 64, was jailed last year for 14 years with a non-parole period of 10 years, after pleading guilty to 55 counts of negligently causing serious injury to the patients by injecting himself with prefilled syringes of fentanyl - an opioid used in general anaesthesia - in theatre at Croydon Day Surgery. He then administered the remaining drug to the patients as they underwent pregnancy terminations.
Peters had a history of drug abuse as well as convictions for possessing a drug of dependence and falsifying prescriptions when he infected the women with the potentially deadly blood disease between June 2008 and November 2009.
Many of his victims have told of broken relationships, ruined careers and their ever-present fears of passing on the disease to their partners, children and others.
They have developed crippling depression, anxiety and stress since learning they had been exposed to the disease and finding out they had been infected. Several have been placed in psychiatric care and many contemplated suicide as a direct result of Peters' actions.