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Olmsted on Autism: Day in Court

Cedillos By Dan Olmsted
It was possible, walking out of federal appeals court into the bright sunshine in Washington on Thursday, to imagine Michelle Cedillo getting a fair shake after all – to imagine the three appeals court judges ordering the special master in vaccine court to review his rejection of her claim that vaccine injury caused autism, among other grievous harms. 
It was possible to think that because the judges seemed downright appalled by the government’s reliance on an expert report from a sealed British proceeding without the “underlying data” – the laboratory books with actual facts and figures that would show whether the Irish lab run by John O’Leary was really as bad as the government witnesses said – that it couldn’t be trusted when it said it found vaccine-strain measles in Michelle’s gut.
Cedillo appeal “I have a very positive feeling about the federal judges,” said Sylvia Chin-Caplan, who argued the appeal.
“I leave with the sense that the judges were very troubled that the government had not acted in good faith,” said Mary Holland. “Those judges were very troubled by what the government’s done – very troubled.”

Photo: Michelle's uncle Philiip Cono and Attorney Sylvia Chin-Caplan.
Several times, members of the three-judge panel noted the vaccine court hearings were supposed to be non-adversarial and wondered why the government introduced the expert report without even asking the British court for the underlying data on which the report is based.  The judges pointed out that this made cross-examination virtually impossible.  Noting DOJ’s non-request, Judge Dyk said, “I find that a little strange,” and “that doesn’t look right, does it?”  Ms. Ricciardella, the DOJ lawyer, asserted that the report was rightfully admitted and that had the underlying data been included, “it would have buttressed our case.” Judge Dyk smiled and asked, “How do you know that?” to laughter in the courtroom.
The three-judge panel is expected to rule in about a month.  If the government loses, it could ask for the entire appeals court bench to hear argument. And even if it goes back to vaccine court, Special Master Hastings has already said he would have ruled the same way with or without the British testimony. (A sick irony is that the validity of O’Leary’s lab work has since been confirmed in a study that, supposedly, ruled out the MMR as a cause of gut disease in autism. They’ve got us coming and going, or so they think.)
But on this sunny June day it seemed better to side with possibility than pessimism. Theresa Cedillo could not attend because Michelle is not well, but her brother Phillip Cano spoke.
“Michelle’s not doing that well right now,” Cono said at a gathering at a nearby restaurant after the hearing. “She’s a trooper so I think she’ll hang in there.”
“We all need to remember we live in the greatest nation on earth,” he said, “and hope eventually there will be something very positive to come out of this.”
Said Mary Holland: “We’ll be back.”

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.



wow, is it just me or does Brian Deer seem like some kind of obnoxious cartoon character who is always seeking some kind of approval? I just can't put my finger on who. Any ideas? Good luck to the Cedillos.'

Autism Grandma

The Vaccine Court refuses to recognize vaccine strain measles growing in the intestines of vaccine injured autistic children, and they refuse to recognize science and recorded history that goes back hundreds of years regarding Mercury poisoning. "There is no link" they say.

Here is something of relative interest that I just read, which reminds me of the Special Masters and the saying:

"Those who refuse to learn from history will be condemned to repeat it."

Ivan the Terrible

"Died: A.D. 1584
Cause of death: Foul play has long been suspected in the death of Russia's original bad boy, who slaughtered tens of thousands of his subjects and beat his own son to death in a rage. Tests carried out on the czar's corpse in 2002 indicated he might well have been murdered: His body contained more than enough mercury and arsenic to kill a man.

Of course, it's also possible his death was simply caused by medical treatments gone wrong. Mercury was often used to treat syphilis (and Ivan was notoriously promiscuous), and arsenic was taken to fight the plague, which ravaged Russia throughout his rule. Slow poisoning by mercury, known to cause sudden mood changes and madness, might also explain why Ivan was so, well, terrible."

Maybe the Special Masters should take a dose of their own medicine. (They probably already do every time they get a Flu Shot)


Thank you to the attorneys and others who have taken a stand with the Cedillo Family. To the Cedillo family, know that there are alot of us out there who couldn't attend court for obvious reasons, but we are praying very hard for you and hope for a speedy and successful end to this nightmare.


John, Brian Deer's post makes me sick. And the behvior of our DoJ makes me more sick:(


See the attached link: autism update date 05/20/10 page 2
the petitioners in those cases did not excersise their option to seek a review.


@ omnibusted -
I don't know anything from the inside, but in the Spectrum magazine I received this week, an article about the cases of William Mead, Jordan King, and Colin Dwyer states "All three families are expected to appeal the decisions made by the special masters. Hearings for the cases will begin during the summer."

Marvin Lewis

Dear Dan,
Please forgive this bit of reality. I am not autistic and I do not know an autistic.
I got into this because an acquaintance asked me a question about vaccines. Volumes later , I can truly say ,"I don't know."
The reality is 'might makes right.'
As long as money is being made , the Truth will take a back seat.


Thank you to the Cedillo family, and may Michelle soon improve in health. You are in our thoughts.

michael framson

Michelle's brother said, ".....we live in the greatest nation on the earth." Well,...the greatest nation on the earth did something very horrible....criminal...negligent... to his sister, and it wants to get away with it and continue to inflict injury and endless suffering to other sisters, brothers, sons and daughters.

For Michelle's sake and all the other children, I hope there is a remnant left, of a great nation.


does anyone have any comment on why the king, dwyer and mead cases are not being appealed?


I was there in the courtroom yesterday. The room was packed with law students. Our side has lawyers who have a longstanding interest in justice; consumer safety; open books and credible science. The other side seems to be interested only in winning. Ms. Riccardella, from the Respondent's side, is very young. I would wager, when presented with the option of thimerosal-containing, vs. thimerosal-free, for herself or her child, would surely choose the latter, since she has heard plenty of the science first hand. But, that's her personal choice, of course. Now it is her business to fight for her industry sponsors who would be happy to further her career interests. Her parents must be so proud.

Meanwhile, I was happy to be a bit part witness to Michelle's legal struggle, which represents all of our own. My eternal gratitude and admiration to the Cedillos.

John Stone

"That said, I’m also very proud that, like the GMC, the US government sought my help in mounting its case in Cedillo, copiously borrowing pages of evidence from my website and displaying some in court. I was surprised by this. I assumed that they would have sophisticated contacts with other governments and with industry, and could pretty much get what they wanted. However, on a number of occasions I would come home, find an email from the department of justice asking me for a document, and see that the next day it was being run in court. Bit of a seat of the pants job by the DoJ (brought about by the plaintiffs changing their case at the last minute). Indeed, I recall supplying a key document on the O’Leary lab business, which the DoJ didn’t seem to know about just weeks before the hearing. Hence the late surfacing of Bustin and Chadwick. It was me wot done that, and I’m glad. I don’t say these things to boast, only perhaps to wonder why — if there are all kinds of grand conspiracies behind the defence of vaccine safety — governments and regulators are so untogether that a mere journalist can get ahead of them in the game."

Brian Deer on LeftBrain/RightBrain

Media Scholar

Just one month? That's excellent. It means the high court has already seen enough lop-sided to gig 'em?

Perhaps the real court intends to re-hear the whole case and maybe even call for additional testimony which Hastings vigorously omitted?

Theresa Cedillo

Thank you so much Dan for attending, for your support and for posting the day's events.

I had fully intended for Michelle, my husband and myself to attend the oral arguments. But as the time drew nearer Michelle became very tired. I decided at that point to attend by myself. Then just days before the court date, Michelle had a dramatic increase in seizure activity resulting in 24 grand mal seizures in just a few day's time. June 8th I received a phone call from one of Michelle's specialists. She thinks Michelle has a tumor. Everything just kind of turned upside down. As much as I wanted to be there in DC, I knew I could not leave.

I am so proud and so honored to be part of this autism community. I have met and talked to the most amazing people a person could ever hope to know. We are bound by our own tragedies and by our fight for justice for our children. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to each of you for your tremendous support and kind words-especially now.



Thank you, Dan. You convey so much so simply. After all the betrayals, it's strange how the heart can still open up in hope towards people in positions of authority who seem on the brink of understanding, maybe even doing the right thing at last.

It makes me understand the concept of justice a little better, how far it really is from revenge, because justice shrinks the force of harm, perpetrators, etc., into something inconsequential and resets the focus onto what's good and worth preserving. What's true will remain true whether anyone in power accepts it or not. But hopes for humanity thrive when there's understanding and acknowledgment.


AoA article: "And even if it goes back to vaccine court, Special Master Hastings has already said he would have ruled the same way with or without the British testimony."

Special Master Hasting just publically admitted he has a bias and will not weigh the evidence (data) if presented. More proof that the Cedillo's did not and will not get a fair hearing in vaccine court.

Using this statement by Hastings above as evidence, the Cedillo's lawyer should request that it NOT go back to Vaccine Court.


A spark of optimism now and then stokes the fires of determination.

But why pull this case out of the Special Masters' dirty little pigpen only to throw it right back? As the saying goes, the problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.


I keep thinking that surely there are people who really understand the issues that arise in vaccine-autism matters -- scientists, doctors, lawyers, judges -- who will eventually be involved somehow and speak out. To those who simply read the news stories, it all seems so settled, so simple. But if you really look at the facts, it is not settled nor simple (except that quite simply it is true that vaccines can and sometimes do cause autism and IBD!).

For the most part it is parents of affected children who really investigate, research, learn. But surely there are a lot of people who either have not been involved enough to understand or who are intimidated by the medical-govt-industrial-pharm complex, but who will become involved and speak out.

The Omnibus hearings are held in an encapsulated environment. But as these decisions and the psuedo-science supporting them reach the light of day (such as in courts of law), surely there will be many who see the obvious sense in the arguments voiced by so many in our community (such as by attorneys - thank you Sylvia Chin-Caplan!)

We have longstanding democratic traditions in this country, and traditions of open scientific inquiry. We also have established product liability rights, which were given up in relation to vaccines, in exchange for what was supposed to be a non-adversarial system of providing benefits to those who had taken one for the herd, paid for by the herd (vaccine recipients) through a surcharge on vaccines. When basic principles of law and science and medicine are applied (instead of spin) the faults in the Omnibus system and vaccine-defense science are clear.

claudine Liss

Thank you for the update!

Kent Heckenlively


Thanks for doing this important work, thanks to Sylvia Chin-Caplan, Mary Holland, and of course, thanks to the amazing Cedillo family! Like you, I will choose optimism over pessimism at this point.

All the best,
Kent Heckenlively

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