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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Thimerosal & Vaccines Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Thimerosal & Vaccines Legal News



Headline Thimerosal & Vaccines Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



Supreme Court Hears Argument Over Vaccine Preemption
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The extent to which tort claims for alleged vaccine injury are allowed by legislation that created a federal compensation system was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 12 in the case of a child allegedly injured by Wyeth's diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine Tri-Immunol (Russell Bruesewitz, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., No. 09-152 U.S. Sup.; See September 2010, Page 5). Full story on lexis.com



Judge: Vaccine Act Does Not Require Futile Exhaustion
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge has refused to dismiss a vaccine lawsuit, saying in a Sept. 28 opinion that the Vaccine Act's exhaustion requirement does not apply to individuals who are ineligible for compensation within the system in the first place (Steven Kravitz, et al. v. Evans Medical LTD, et al., No. 09-21414, S.D. Fla.; 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107726). Full story on lexis.com



Vaccine Objectors May Contest Denial Of Religious Exemption
BROOKLYN, NY - The parents of a child denied a religious exemption from vaccinating their 4-year-old daughter before entry into public school may pursue her claim that the district's position violated New York Public Health Law, Section 2164(9), a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 24 (Martina Caviezel, et al. v. Great Neck Public Schools, et al., No. CV 10-652, E.D. N.Y.; 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100451; See April 2010, Page 6). Full story on lexis.com



Special Master Rules Tetanus Antigen Caused Transverse Myelitis
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Vaccine Court special master has ruled that the tetanus toxoid antigen in a tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccination caused transverse myelitis (TM), saying in a decision released Sept. 30 that in light of previous decisions in favor of petitioners, the respondent declined to identify an expert to dispute the claim (Nancy Davis v. Secretary, No. 09-295V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 752). Full story on lexis.com



Vaccine Special Master Rules Severe Epilepsy Is Genetic In Origin
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters has denied Vaccine Court compensation to a girl who developed severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) after receiving the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, saying in a decision released Sept. 27 that although the vaccine caused a severe seizure the day of administration, the girl's epilepsy was genetic in origin (Scott R. Hammitt, et al. v. Secretary, No. V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 725). Full story on lexis.com



2-Hour Lapse Between Flu Shot And Vertigo Ruled Too Early For Causation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters ruled in a decision released Sept. 27 that a time lapse of two hours between an influenza vaccination and the onset of vertigo and other inner ear disorders was too short for the vaccine to have been responsible (Donna Donica v. Secretary, No. 08-625 V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 724). Full story on lexis.com



Special Master Finds Parents Recall Of Injury To Be Unreliable
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Parents of a suspected child-abuse victim were not credible witnesses to the events leading up to the child's alleged injury from the several childhood vaccines, a Vaccine Court special master ruled Sept. 1 (Grant Heath v. Secretary, No. 08-86V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Special Master Reduces Attorney And Expert Fees, Cost Of Meals During Hearing
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Vaccine Court special master on Sept. 8 cut a petitioner's legal fee, disallowed half of a medical expert's billed time and even cut the allowance for meals ordered during a hearing into an unsuccessful petition alleging that the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine caused a child's severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI) (Jennifer Stone, et al. v. Secretary, No. 04-1041V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 753; See May 2010, Page 8). Full story on lexis.com



Chief Special Master Cuts Legal Fee For Petition That Should Have Been Abandoned
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Vaccine Court's chief special master has cut nearly $33,000 from the legal fee submitted by a petitioner who unsuccessfully claimed that mercury in vaccines caused a child's developmental disorder, saying in a Sept. 27 decision that the petitioner prosecuted the claim beyond the point when she had any reasonable basis for doing so (Mary Browning, et al. v. Secretary, No. 02-929V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Reluctant Government Agrees To $215,000 Award For Guillain-Barr? Syndrome
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters has approved a stipulation that awards $215,000 to a man who claimed that he contracted Guillain-Barr? syndrome (GBS) from an influenza vaccination (John Doe 85 v. Secretary, No. [redacted]V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Federal Appeals Panel Affirms Rejection Of Theory That MMR Vaccine Causes Autism
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 27 ruled that a Vaccine Court special master did not commit reversible error of law in deciding that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine did not cause Michelle Cedillo's autism (Theresa Cedillo, et al. v. Secretary, No. 2010-5004, Fed. Cir.; 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 17900). Full story on lexis.com



Parents Of Injured Child Say Vaccine Act Preempts Only 'Unavoidable' Injury
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Shielding vaccine manufacturers from liability for failing to make products as safe as reasonably possible does not promote the purpose of the Vaccine Act, the parents of a brain-injured child argue in an Aug. 23 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (Russell Bruesewitz, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., No. 09-152 U.S. Sup.; See August 2010, Page 5). Full story on lexis.com



Federal Judge Says Vaccine Court Applied Too Strict Time Standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has reversed a Vaccine Court denial of compensation for a child whose parents claimed that the hepatitis B vaccine caused chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), saying in an Aug. 17 opinion that the special master had applied too strict an interpretation of the requirement that petitioners show an appropriate time lapse between vaccination and alleged injury (Dr. Yuliya Dobrydneva, et al. v. Secretary, No. 04-1593V, Fed. Clms.; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 595; See March 2010, Page 6). Full story on lexis.com



Divided Federal Circuit Affirms Denial Of Claim For Flu Vaccine Injury
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided federal appeals panel ruled Sept. 10 that a Vaccine Court special master did not err denying a physician's claims that the influenza vaccine caused transverse myelitis (TM) (Peter Broekelschen, M.D. v. Secretary, No. 07-137V, Fed. Cir.; See September 2009, Page 10). Full story on lexis.com



Court Of Claims Rules Triple Diagnosis Fails To Prove Vaccine Injury
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Court of Federal Claims has affirmed a special master's denial of Vaccine Act compensation to a woman whose experts could not agree among three possible diagnoses for her chronic pain and fatigue, saying in an opinion released Sept. 1 that the special master was not required to perform the standard Vaccine Court analysis in the absence of a diagnosis (Jane Doe 60 v. Secretary, No. [redacted]V, Fed. Clms.; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 661; See May 2010, Page 9). Full story on lexis.com



Court Stays Vaccine Remand; Says Statute Of Limitations Is In Flux
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Court of Federal Claims has stayed its own order of remand of a vaccine petition for further development of facts germane to the Vaccine Act's strict three-year statute of limitations, saying in an opinion released Sept. 10 that the law regarding limitations is still in flux (Tim Hokkanen and Nancy Hokkanen v. Secretary, No. 03-1753V, Fed. Clms.; See January 2010, Page 8). Full story on lexis.com



Herpes, Rather Than Hepatitis B Vaccine, Found To Be Likely Cause Of Seizures
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters has denied vaccine program compensation to a child who claimed that the hepatitis B vaccine caused a seizure disorder, saying in a decision released Aug. 12 that a 2-month-old child's immune system is not strong enough to mount an autoimmune attack on his nervous system and that it was more likely the child was injured by the herpes simplex virus acquired from his mother at birth (Richard Abbott Jr. v. Secretary, No. 99-497V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Vaccine Court Awards Death Benefit To Estate Of Pertussis Vaccine Victim
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters in a decision released Aug. 20 ordered a vaccine program death benefit of $250,000 to be paid to the estate of a child who went into cardiac arrest and a coma four days after receiving the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine and died after being removed from a ventilator (Jennifer B. Johnson v. Secretary, No. 07-138V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 604). Full story on lexis.com



Special Master Rules Petitioner's Expert Offers Speculative Injury Theory
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters has denied compensation for a child who alleged that the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) or Prevnar vaccines caused afebrile seizures, saying in a decision released Aug. 20 that the petitioner's expert's theories were speculative and unreliable (Matthew and Carrie Nance v. Secretary, No. 06-730V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Inability To Prove Mitochondrial Disorder Fatal To Autism Petition
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Vaccine Court special master has dismissed a petition alleging mercury in vaccines caused a child's autism, saying in a decision released Sept. 9 that the petitioners sought the dismissal because they could not present an expert to opine that their child had an underlying mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by mercury in vaccines (Ward C. Boyd III, et al. v. Secretary, No. 03-2649, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Dismissal Overturned In Polio Vaccine Case Alleging Viral Contamination
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate court has reversed and remanded the dismissal of claims that oral polio vaccine contaminated with simian virus 40 (SV40) caused a man's brain tumor, saying in a July 29 opinion that the trial court erred in finding it impossible for the plaintiff to identify the manufacturer and that a previous federal dismissal did not preclude the plaintiff from asserting claims in state court (Jamie Gannon and Rebecca Gannon v. American Home Products Inc., No. A-3936-07T2, N.J. Super, App. Div.; 2010 N.J. Super. LEXIS 147; See August 2007, Page 4). Full story on lexis.com



Wyeth Says Plaintiffs' 'Safer' DTP Design Did Not Exist At Time Of Injury
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A noncellular version of the diphtheria-tetanus- pertussis (DTP) that a couple's lawsuit says was a safer alternative design to the one they say injured their daughter was not yet approved for children under 2 years of age when the child was vaccinated, manufacturer Wyeth says in a July 23 brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm lower courts' dismissal of the claims (Russell Bruesewitz, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., No. 09-152 U.S. Sup.; See June 2010, Page 4). Full story on lexis.com



Solicitor General Argues Congress Expressly Preempted Vaccine Design Defect Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress expressly preempted claims for design defect in the 1986 Vaccine Act and allowed tort claims only for vaccines that are defectively manufactured and for inadequate warning, the U.S. solicitor general says in a July 29 amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (Russell Bruesewitz, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., No. 09-152 U.S. Sup.; See June 2010, Page 4). Full story on lexis.com



Vaccine Court Rules DTaP Vaccine Caused Neurological Syndrome
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters has ruled in favor of a child who claimed that the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine alone or in combination with an existing neuroblastoma caused opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome (OMS), saying in a decision released Aug. 4 that the petitioner presented the stronger scientific case (John Doe 79, et al. v. Secretary, No. [redacted]V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Autism Case Subject Of Government Concession Wins $1.5 Million, Annuity
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A child whose Vaccine Court petition made national headlines over the government's concession that vaccines, in combination with a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder, caused her autism has won a lump-sum payment of more than $1.5 million in addition to a lifetime annuity in a decision released Aug. 11 (Hannah Poling v. Secretary, No. 02-1466V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 576; See May 2008, Page 5). Full story on lexis.com



Claims Court Affirms Special Master's Denial Of Flu Vaccine Petition
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in an opinion released July 28 affirmed a Vaccine Court special master's finding that a speculative editorial in a medical journal does not support a contention that the influenza vaccination caused neuromyelitis optica (NMO), although it disagreed with the special master's application of Daubert (Marilyn Davis v. Secretary, No. 07-451V, Fed. Clms.; See April 2010, Page 9). Full story on lexis.com



Claim That RotaTec Damaged Child's Intestine Denied In Vaccine Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Office of Special Masters has rejected in a decision released Aug. 4 the petition of a child who suffered intussusception, a potentially dangerous prolapse of the intestines, less than two months after being vaccinated with Merck & Co. Inc.'s RotaTec vaccine (Anthony Hurd v. Secretary, No. 08-65V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters; 2010 U.S. Claims LEXIS 550). Full story on lexis.com



Vaccines Ruled Out As Cause Of Child's Encephalitis Injuries
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A petitioner failed to show how one of several vaccines, rather than some other cause, triggered a damaging episode of herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE), a Vaccine Court special master said in a decision released Aug. 10 (Jane Doe/78 v. Secretary, No. [redacted]V, Fed. Clms., Off. Spec. Masters). Full story on lexis.com



Plaintiffs Seek To Cure Standing Deficiency In Suit To Ban Preservative
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A group that sued the federal government seeking removal of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from all vaccines has filed a motion to vacate a District of Columbia federal judge's dismissal of their claims, saying in a July 14 brief that because members of the organization have standing to sue, the organization does as well (Coalition for Mercury Free Drugs, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 09-15, D. D.C.; See July 2010, Page 5). Full story on lexis.com



Autism Epidemic Is Real, And Likely Environmental, Researchers Say In Journal
WARSAW, Poland - Although autism statistics are subject to some diagnostic inflation, the reported epidemic is not a statistical anomaly, and the increase is likely caused by environmental, not genetic, factors, researchers say in the second quarterly edition of the peer-reviewed Polish journal Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis (Vol. 70, No. 2), which was devoted entirely to autism research. Full story on lexis.com



Government Warns Against Australian Vaccine In Children Under 8 Years
ATLANTA - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cautioned that the Australian-made Afluria vaccine should not be given to children younger than 8 years old, saying in its Aug. 13 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report that the vaccine has been associated with increased reports of fever and febrile seizures. Full story on lexis.com