Autism Speaks Responds to Autism Omnibus Court Decision
SafeMinds' Response to Autism Omnibus Court Decision

TACA's Response to Autism Omnibus Court Decision

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Managing Editor's Note: Thank you to our sponsor TACA for their response to the court cases today. Here it is.

What happened February 12, 2009 in Washington, DC?

More than a year-and-a-half has passed since the first Autism Omnibus Proceeding test case was heard to address claims of vaccine injury filed by parents of children with autism.  Families who believe their children’s autism was caused by vaccines have anticipated this day for a long time. Today we have the first three verdicts. To date, more than 5300 claims have been filed in the program with the cases still waiting to be heard.

What were the verdicts?

Today we learned yet another government system has failed the families affected by autism. All three cases:  Cedillo, Hazelhurst, and Synder were ruled against the families and they were found not entitled to a program award for their children for the vaccine autism link.  The problem with the rulings is the judges indicated that the petitioners has fallen short of demonstrating such a link. And at the same time they did not dispel it either.

Who are the Cedillo, Synder and Hazelhurst families?

Michelle Cedillo is a fourteen-year-old girl who developed autism after her MMR shot at 15 months of age. She was the first ever Omnibus Autism test case in June 2007. The first day of Michelle’s Omnibus case created a media frenzy. Twelve-year-old Colten Snyder and nine-year-old Yates Hazelhurst were the second and third Omnibus cases tried in November of 2007.  Similar to Michelle Cedillo, these two boys also regressed into autism as toddlers after their routine pediatric vaccines. To date, six test cases have been tried in the Autism Omnibus Proceedings.

TACA would like to take this time to recognize the extreme courage of the Cedillo, Snyder and Hazelhurst families.  These families blazed the legal trail for children with autism in the Omnibus Autism Program. These brave families and their children are our heroes.

How do these cases relate to Hannah Poling’s Omnibus Case?

Hannah Poling’s case was conceded by the U.S. government in November 2007. A concession is very different from a decision made by the court.  In Hannah’s case, the Department of Health and Human Services advised the Department of Justice not try her case and to compensate Hannah for the injuries incurred after her vaccinations.  The public did not find out about the concession until journalist David Kirby wrote about it in the Huffington Post on February 25, 2008. In a sense, Hannah was the first autism/vaccine injury case on record to be reconciled even though her case did not go to trial.

We have many questions as to why the government would concede this case before trial and rule against others that had similar evidence.

For more information on Hannah’s case – please see these links:

Hannah Poling 1
Hannah Poling 2

What is the Omnibus Autism Program?

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in 1988. The VICP was created to ensure there was an adequate supply of vaccines and stabilize vaccine costs. Prior to this Act, there were only a handful of drug companies who produced vaccines.  These companies had suffered huge losses in civil court over vaccine injuries.  The drug companies lobbied for protection and the Act was passed.

A responsibility of the VICP was to establish and maintain an accessible and timely venue for individuals found to be injured by vaccines. The VICP was developed to be a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims that provides compensation to people found to be injured by certain vaccines. The U. S. Court of Federal Claims decides these claims in court commonly referred to as vaccine court. Damages are paid to individuals from a fund that government maintains. Drug companies can no longer be sued a civil court of law until the claim has gone through the VICP. For more information go to: vaccine compensation.

The VICP was set up for individuals that suffered an “on the table” vaccine injury.  That is, an injury that happened within minutes or hours after receiving a vaccine.
Starting in 2001, parents of children with autism started filing claims with VICP.  These claims were considered “off the table,” meaning the vaccine injury did not occur “on the table” or at the time of injection.  In July of 2002, the Special Masters (the term used for judges in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims) established the procedure for addressing these claims and the Omnibus Autism Proceeding (OAP) was born. It was at that time that parents started flooding OAP with claims.  As stated before, more than 5300 claims have been filed in the program to date.

For more information on the Omnibus cases & decision: click HERE

No link to Vaccines & Autism

While the press and several vocal scientists continue to quote there is no link between autism and vaccines, we encourage individuals to continue to do their own research.  There appears to be a pattern in a susceptible group of children receiving adverse reactions to their vaccines leading to regressive autism.
Medical abstracts that review the link of autism and vaccine injuries including other co-morbid features often found in children affected by autism can be found at these links:

Studies 1
Studies 2

Analysis of the decisions

I had the privilege of attending part of Michelle Cedillo’s three week trial. I watched Michelle’s baby videos in the court room along with the Special Masters. I saw a gorgeous, typical toddler regress into hideous medical problems within days of her MMR vaccine. Her illness and change after that pediatrician’s visit was dramatic and very visible to those watching the case unfold. The testimony that Theresa Cedillo provided was articulate and heartbreaking. No family should have to witness these dramatic changes and new medical issues in their beloved child. 

I have to think that the reason it took nineteen months for a verdict is that the decision was difficult to conclude.  The burden of scientific proof in vaccine court is “more likely than not” that the vaccine caused the child harm. These Special Masters must have wrestled with their verdicts.  Especially since this was new territory for these judges. Up until this point, the Special Masters were deciding cases that were “on the table injuries,” which means the child reacted to their vaccination with in minutes or hours of injection.

The fact that it took this long for these three decisions has to mean that the vaccine injury evidence was highly regarded.  Poor evidence would have produced a negative decision very quickly.  Most likely what stood in the way of these decisions going to the children are:

1. Blocked access to the Vaccine Safety Data (VSD) for the attorneys of these children.
2. There was no discovery phase to trial.
3. There was no jury. 
4. Parents and independent scientists do not have the resources to fund vaccine injury science outside pharmaceutical industry ties.
5. After years of pleading, the government still refuses to do the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study health outcomes study.

The decision today didn’t say that it couldn’t happen.  The decision said that there was not enough science at the time of the trial to back up the claim that vaccines were the causation of autism theory.  The science may be there at some point, maybe very soon.  The Cedillo, Snyder and Hazelhurst cases will be appealed and looked at again. After all, if the government can not definitively tell us the cause autism, they can not tell us what doesn’t cause autism either.  This fight is not over.

Related TACA Links for Families:

1) Vaccine Choices    2) Deirdre Imus Greening

For Daily Audio Interviews about Omnibus – Cedillo cases:

For Additional Information on Omnibus Hearings go to: Vaccine Compensation



Most of the links in this article are broken. I hope someone can go through and update them. Articles like this are very important and need to be kept up to date.


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Mark Reinhardt

As a person living with Aspergers Syndrome, the questions I have for you, is this. Do you concede that there is a difference between Genetic Autism and Vaccine Autism? 2. Have you thought about the impact that you would have on high functioning individuals with Aspergers. Through your Internet and public relations campaign addressing these subjects? 3. Do you feel this will adverisley affect high functioning adults living with this disorder? 4. If Vaccines do play a role in the genetic changes of Autism how would you explain the exponential growth in both Male and Female populations? 5. Have you considered the possibility of Autism as a Evolutionary adaptation to an increasingly technological environment? 6. In regards to people who live on the spectrum. Are you prepared for the backlash that will come from people living with the actual genetic disorder?

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All of you, PLEASE Google “Congressional Record – Extension of Remarks May 21st, 2003 – Pages E1027-1030” which is called “Mercury in Medicine Report – Hon. Dan Burton of Indiana in the House of Representatives.” Read it -


“However, the Committee, upon a thorough review of the scientific literature and internal documents from the government and industry, did find evidence that thimerosal did pose a risk.
Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is likely related to the autism epidemic. This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding the lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal and the sharp rise of infant exposure to this known neurotoxin. Our public health agencies’ failure to act is indicative of institutional malfeasance for self-protection and misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

Please remember that Congress already came to its conclusion that there was something mighty wrong here. We can’t be foolish to allow three Special Masters who serve the same government that mandates the vaccinations to close this matter. Ultimately, we will have to bring our cause in front of a jury, within the eyes of the American public where we will have the openness of discovery procedures and fairness. Just recently look how they are trying to modify the Combat Autism Act so as not to allow continued research in vaccinations – much to hide.

The more you research this issue and understand our American governmental history (WMD comes to mind very quickly), it is very oblivious that our government cannot be trusted to tell the truth. It seems that the only way we will probably learn the truth, will be in an actual court of law and not some “dog and pony show” orchestrated by Special Masters who also work for that same government.

Folks, the gloves are off. Get ready for a fight we can’t lose, nor will lose in behalf of our children. “Don’t Stop - Keep Pushing.”

M -
For “A” and so many Others


Thank you Heather and Bek for you messages of support!!

to David Taylor, you said that your reading into decisions was: "Our decision relates only to the evidence in these three cases..." I had that same feeling - that they were sending message of objectivity and "just show us more evidence" type of openmindedness, until I reached the concluding remarks in Cedillo case. The message there was uterly and disgustingly patronising, and left me with no doubt whatsoever that the special master's conclusion was nothing else than political and very closed-minded.

Heather Tidwell, M.Ed., CNC, and AUTISM MOM

I am a mom of an almost 11 year old son affected by autism. I have a Master's degree in education and am a certified nutritionist. My husband is close to completing his doctorate from Liberty University in Education Administration. We try to be a voice WHEREVER we can for our precious children. My husband is beginning work for his dissertation with the topic of a correlation between vaccines and autism. We as parents who have watched this regression into autism take place KNOW THE TRUTH. We must not give up the fight, no matter what the government says. We know that the government has done NO unbiased studies into this link. We must continue to be heard. At the ruling of this (these) cases, I am reminded of a tragic event that took place in our country on 9/11. I am also reminded of how we pulled together as a nation to stand up for our freedoms and defend what was ours!!!
Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, neighbors, etc.... It is time to defend our precious children and Stand Together United against this deviation from the truth.
I pray for you all daily as we each have our own stuggles!!!
God Bless!!!

janice bachert

It never ceases to amaze me that rather than work as diligently as possible to find the reason that some children regress after there vaccinations; there seems to be more efforts to show that this could not be. The levels of MMR in my 17 year old aspie are outrageous, that's 11 years after his last mmr vacination. And for that matter I am 53 years old and as a toddler went into convulsions after polio vaccination. Which tells me there have been issues with vaccines for a very long time.


bensmyson, keep the faith buddy, sometimes things look darkest just before the sun shines. Change will come and my heart goes out to you all with this disappointment.

Kelly Langston

Speechless. Just like so many of our kids.

Kathy Blanco

KATU news portland called me just now to get our impressions on this Masters court decision..this is Oregon, so Oregon parents, could you please email Angelica Thornton at [email protected] to give her your impressions? Don't hold back, she wants the real truth.
OK OK, I am acccused of double speak, I am advocating this, but realize, will it change things, answer no, but it makes you feel better at least....


I understand the passivity we all must adopt as our personality trait as we all wait and hope and cry into pillows. A passivity that asks nothing from us except love and faith. A love for a child that does not allow comparisons or envy, a love for a child that tells you it's not important that your son or daughter never tell you their stomach hurts or they are hungry, that you will sense it. A faith in "powers that be" will find justice in all this and other innocent children will be protected even if yours wasn't.

But this ruling today is one more straw, Offit's book, the article in the London Times, the death of that poor child from the HepB vaccine are about all the straws I can take. My back is killing me.

I just learned that in my town 334 children are labeled as autistic by our county school system. There are 18,000 households here with children under 18 living with them. 334 children in the school system with autism, that's on average one out of every 55 households/families that are raising and nurturing a child, older than three, that has been diagnosed with autism.

If getting to the bottom of this is not a national priority then perhaps it should be. Perhaps we all need to become a bit more aggressive and make change happen.

School boards all across the country are under federal mandate to provide services to our children. If we had some of us on those boards and put pressure on the others, we could make it hurt the pocketbooks of America and wake a few people up. Who says a football team or a science lab is more important that my son's opportunity to learn how to read? If this country thinks the housing industry tanking is causing panic, just wait until they get my bill for services. I think it is safe to say that that bill is long over due.


I am a parent to 3 little ones. I spaced out their vaccines one by one, did not begin vaccinating until age 2. (This was our decision based mainly on some important info a friend gave us from NVIC)

That was before I did my own research a year ago. Now we no longer vaccinate our children. I read AofA every day and would like to thank all of you for staying strong and speaking up. If you parents wouldn't continue to speak then NO ONE would know any better. You are reaching people, more than you know.


Question: Why was the VSD data blocked?
Is this a hippa thing? I personally believe that hippa went into place just for this reason.

David Taylor

Thanks for all you do TACA. My reading of the decisions was that:

"Not good enough evidence was presented in these cases. Our decision relates only to the evidence in these three cases. The question as to vaccines and causation is still open."

Of course, Big Pharma and their mouthpieces will not spin it that way.

You are exactly correct as is J.B.: We need funding for big studies by big names, especially the vax v. unvax populations.

The recent midnight move to remove funding for such studies speaks volumes.

Jeanna Reed

As a mother of a child injured by his vaccines, I look at today's rulings and truly believe some good can and will come out of this. I have to believe that.
All I know is that I CANNOT change the story of my child...what happened to him, the regression into illness and ultimately autism is FACT. No one can change I read and continue to collect medical data and keep adding it to our case that is filed among the thousands of others waiting....what else can we do?...our hands are tied just like the special masters I suppose?!?! My hope is that one day, not that the rules are changed, but that we no longer have to play this game. Enough already!

c. linderman sr

We have got to realize that our government has failed us. as usual, we (the autism community) our left to treat, recover and deal with our children alone. My one hope is that this will energize the community and we will become stroger and more dilligent then ever to fight these disgusting pharmawhores on all fronts.
Now we have to deal with the Offits, Johnsons, Snydermans and tayloes of this world for a number of months (at least) using this as a "nail in the coffin" for the vaccine/autism debate. I'm sure we'll be up to the task with wonderful organizations such as TACA.
My prayers are with the families at this time...

Terri Lewis


Thank you for your comment. I wish more parents like you would speak up.

Please be extremely cautious if your child has already had a reaction (even a slight reaction such as you describe) to the MMR.

You are probably already aware, but I would strongly advise against any future MMR shots for your son.

As further general information, most children receive no benefit of any kind from an MMR booster. Either they already show antibodies (easily tested by checking titers) or they are in the minority who do not produce the antibodies.

Terri Lewis


You guys are wonderful. Keep the info flowing. I'm the mother of a 20 month old who has carefully delayed and spaced out my son's vaccinations.

I find it interesting that babies are immediately vaccinated at birth so parents don't really know the natural physiology of their children before injections. Because of folks like you, I knew. I've taken my time and do not regret it.

I believe my son had a slight reaction to the MMR. He got a rash 10 days after...the doctor said it was a virus like roseola (he did have a minor cold). But he already had that 4 months ago.

Anyway, keep fighting the fight -- your info is protecting other children. Drug companies vs. Parents? I'll go with the parents.

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