Only a few days ago, the United States federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, more widely known as the “Vaccine Court”, awarded millions of dollars to two children with autism for “pain and suffering” and lifelong care of their injuries. The Vaccine Court is a tribunal that has awarded over $2.5 billion for vaccine-injury claims since 1989 and is paid for by a tax on vaccines. The recent, above-mentioned awards could cost tens of millions of dollars
Information is limited, and access to medical records and other exhibits is blocked due to both cases being “unpublished”. The two petitions fit the pattern of other cases, (i.e., Poling and Banks) in which the court ruled (or the government conceded) that vaccines had caused encephalopathy that produced permanent injury, including symptoms of autism and an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis.
The testimony of parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors of both children said that the children were developmentally normal, if not advanced for their age when they developed seizures, spiking fevers and other adverse reactions to their vaccines. According to these eyewitnesses, the children began losing vocabulary, eye contact and interest in others around them, all classic symptoms of regressive autism. The witnesses also testified that they never recovered.
The parents of a 10-year-old boy from Northern California named Ryan Mojabi, said that “all the vaccinations” received from 2003-2005, and “more specifically, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccinations,” caused a “severe and debilitating injury to his brain, described as Autism Spectrum Disorder (‘ASD’).” The parents asserted that Ryan “suffered a Vaccine Table Injury, namely, an encephalopathy” as a result of his MMR vaccination on December 19, 2003.” “Table injuries” are known, adverse side effects to immunizations that can be monetarily compensated for. The parents also say that “as a cumulative result of his receipt of each and every vaccination between March 25, 2003 and February 22, 2005, Ryan has suffered . . . neuroimmunologically mediated dysfunctions in the form of asthma and ASD.”
In 2011, the government conceded that MMR vaccine had indeed caused Ryan’s encephalopathy. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agreed that “Ryan suffered a Table injury under the Vaccine Act — namely, an encephalitis within five to fifteen days following receipt,” of MMR according to records and agreed that, “This case is appropriate for compensation.” Whether HHS agreed with Ryan’s parents that his vaccine-induced brain disease led to ASD is unknown since the concession document is sealed.
The awards are as follows: A lump sum of $969,474.91, to cover “lost future earnings ($648,132.74), pain and suffering ($202,040.17), and life care expenses for Year One ($119,302.00),” plus $20,000 for past expenses. Several millions more, an undisclosed number, will be invested in annuities to cover yearly costs for life, which could total $10 million or more. This does not account for inflation and almost $80,000 was set aside for therapy in the first two years.
The second case involves a girl named Emily and was filed in 2003. Her mother, Jillian Moller has been fighting in vaccine court since. Moller said that Emily was severely injured by a reaction to the DTaP vaccine at 15 months when Emily also received the MMR, HiB and Prevnar vaccine.
Emily’s medical record is filled with damage and suffering and one neurologist diagnosed “encephalopathy characterized by speech delay and probable global developmental delay that occurred in the setting of temporal association with immunizations as an acute encephalopathy.” Government lawyers insisted that Emily had suffered neither a vaccine injury nor encephalopathy, however. Moller said that every alternative cause they suggested “made no sense, because she showed no signs of those things before that vaccination.”
The government agreed to settle and last spring the case finally went into mediation. On December 3, HHS made its offer which was entered into the record on December 28th. Emily’s awards were as follows: a lump sum of $1,030,314.22 “for lost future earnings ($739,989.57), pain and suffering ($170,499.77) and life care expenses for Year One ($119,874.88) plus $190,165.40 for past expenses.” Another estimated $9 million will buy annuities for annual expenses through life, based on the first year payout. This, after inflation, has the potential to pay over $50 million dollars.
Moller said, “I don’t understand why they fought so hard,” and added, “We had the evidence: the EEG, the MRI, everything was consistent with encephalopathy, post-vaccination. How can government attorneys claim what our doctors said happened, didn’t happen?”
Four cases were recently compensated in the Autism Omnibus Proceedings. Three of those cases are marked with asterisks, indicating the government did not conclude that autism can be caused by vaccines. But the fourth autism case, which could be Ryan’s, has no such mark.
Moller says, “…it’s a constant fight when you have a vaccine-injured child. It’s not just the disability, it’s the ignorance. The hatred from the medical community towards families like ours is intense.”
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law protects pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits by parents who say that vaccines injured their children.