Justia U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Products Liability
LaLonde v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs.
M.L. was born in 2003. At his 15-month well-child visit, his pediatrician noted that M.L. was walking and generally developing normally but did not “want to talk.” In 2005, M.L. received several immunizations, including the DTaP vaccination. Hours later, M.L. allegedly began experiencing an abnormally high fever and swelling. He was admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of “vaccine adverse reaction with secondary fever, angiodema, and anaphylactoid reaction.” The morning after his discharge, M.L.’s mother called an ambulance because M.L. was exhibiting signs of hypothermia and seizure-like episodes. In the months that followed, M.L.’s vocabulary allegedly decreased. An MRI of M.L.’s brain with and without contrast was normal. After observing M.L.’s developmental delays and repetitive behaviors, a pediatric neurologist placed M.L. in the autism spectrum disorder category. A special master rejected claims under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. 300aa-1 to -34, and the Claims Court affirmed. The Federal Circuit affirmed. While the DTaP vaccination likely caused the initial anaphylactic reaction, there was no reliable medical theory that the M.L.’s anaphylaxis caused a focal brain injury. View "LaLonde v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs." on Justia Law
Stone v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs.
Plaintiffs sought compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 42 U.S.C. 300aa, for injuries to their children allegedly caused by the Diptheria-Tetanus-acellular Pertussis vaccine. The children suffer a seizure disorder, known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy. The same special master presided over both cases and determined that plaintiffs failed to show entitlement to compensation because evidence showed that a gene mutation present in both children was the sole cause of their injuries. The Court of Federal Claims affirmed. The Federal Circuit affirmed, noting considerable evidentiary support for the conclusion. View "Stone v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs." on Justia Law
Lombard v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs.
Plaintiff had no adverse reaction to receiving the hepatitis B vaccine in 1997 until after her third dose. At that time, her chest pain was not attributed to the vaccine. Plaintiff saw other doctors for various symptoms and, in 1998, doctors identified "post vaccine syndrome." Plaintiff has had unrelated medical problems, suffered the loss of a child, and has had jobs that involved working with chemicals and bodily fluids. Her 1999 claim for compensation under the Vaccine Act (42 U.S.C. 300aa-1) was denied. The Federal Circuit affirmed, stating that if was an "unfortunate case," in which plaintiff suffered a multitude of symptoms but could not prove they were caused by the vaccine.