By Louis Conte and Wayne Rohde
National Law Review published an article on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) on 10/13/14. The author, Jenna Greene, did a thorough job of interviewing people who have worked in the program and reported on concerns that many people concerned about vaccine injury have been pointing out for years.
We recommend that people read the full article here:
The article noted how contentious the program has become. Many of the comments in the article are remarkable. Here is a sampling:
"I'm so disappointed in it," said Michael Hugo, senior litigation counsel to Khorrami Boucher's Boston office…it makes me sick to try to do these cases because I've seen how bad it has become."
It wasn't supposed to be difficult. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was originally created as a bail-out for pharmaceutical companies, which during the 1980s were being hammered in court by juries sympathetic to brain-damaged children, even if the vaccine makers had properly produced the product. By the end of 1984, only one company was still making the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and shortages loomed.
"It was supposed to be a friendly, fast alternative program that didn't require the protections plaintiffs would have in civil litigation," such as discovery or trial by jury, Gentry said. "It's the complete opposite."
Once again, HRSA’s David Bowman comments about autism cases:
The fight these days isn't about autism, at least not much. In 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld two decisions by special masters rejecting a causal connection between vaccines and autism. Since then, 4,926 of 5,637 autism cases have been dismissed by the vaccine court, according David Bowman, a spokesman for the Health Resources and Services Administration. The court "has not compensated any cases based upon autism alone in the absence of sudden serious brain illness after vaccination," he wrote in an email.
These would be cases that read like this one Bailey Banks v. HHS (02-0738V):
“The Court found that Bailey's ADEM was both caused-in-fact and proximately caused by his vaccination. It is well-understood that the vaccination at issue can cause ADEM, and the Court found, based upon a full reading and hearing of the pertinent facts in this case, that it did actually cause the ADEM. Furthermore, Bailey's ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his developmental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD [an autism spectrum disorder]. The Court found that Bailey would not have suffered this delay but for the administration of the MMR vaccine, and that this chain of causation was... a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to Pervasive Developmental Delay.”
Once again, the federal government concedes that vaccine injury that results in brain damage can also include autism.
Will Congress ever hold hearings on the NVICP and call people like Bowman in to ask a simple questions like “Would these children have autism if they didn’t suffer vaccine injuries?”
Or, will Congress continue to cave into the pharmaceutical industry lobbying?
Louis Conte & Wayne Rohde
The Autism War available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
The Vaccine Court pre-order at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.