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Vaccines and Autism

Do Vaccines Cause Autism?

Autism, specifically, is not one of the injuries listed on the Vaccine Injury Table, however, Encephalopathy (or Encephalitis) are conditions listed on the Table. They are listed as injuries from the following Vaccines:

  1.  Vaccines containing tetanus toxoid (e.g., DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
  2.  Vaccines containing whole cell pertussis bacteria, extracted or partial cell pertussis bacteria, or specific pertussis antigen(s) (e.g., DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
  3.  Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine or any of its components (MMR, MR, M, R)

The Vaccine-Autism debate has been ongoing for many years. In the past, the Vaccine Court paid two victims of vaccine-induced encephalopathy that was said to cause Autism Spectrum Disorder (“ASD”) in children.  Recently, two more cases settled under the same premise. Millions of dollars were paid to a ten-year old boy and a girl, both of whom developed ASD as a result of encephalopathy that ensued after receiving particular Vaccines listed on the Vaccine Injury Table.

In the boy’s case, his parents and attorney claimed that he developed ASD as a result of receiving the MMR Vaccine and alternatively, as a cumulative effect of vaccines that he received from 2003-2005. The Government conceded that the MMR did cause his encephalopathy and awarded him the following:

  1.  A lump sum of $969,474.91, to cover:
    a. lost future earnings in the amount of $648,132.74,
    b. pain and suffering in the amount of $202,040.17,
    c. life care expenses for Year One in the amount of $119,302.00,
    d. past expenses in the amount of $20,000
  2.  He also received an undisclosed amount of several millions more, which will cover annual costs for life

In the girl’s case, her parents claimed that their daughter suffered injury from the DTaP vaccine that she received at 15 months old. She developed a seizure disorder and PDD-NOS (a form of ASD, specifically, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified).

In that case, the government agreed to settle in mediation and awarded the girl the following:

  1.  A lump sum of $1,030,314.22, to cover:
    a. Lost future earnings in the amount of $739,989.57
    b. Pain and suffering in the amount of $170,499.77
    c. Life care expenses for the first year in the amount of $119,874.88
    d. Past expenses in the amount of $190,165.40
  2.  Another $9 million for annuities that will pay annually for life (which has the potential for pay over $50 million dollars over the years).

HHS, the Defendant in these cases, did not concede that autism was caused by the Vaccine. However, they did settle under the injury of Encephalopathy as listed on the Vaccine Injury Table. The basis for the claims was that the encephalopathy caused the autism. While the injuries that these cases were settled under are not directly called Autism, the damages that these children endure are Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Widman Law Firm handles Vaccine Injury cases and Phyllis Widman is admitted in the United States Court of Federal Claims where these cases are filed. If you would like to discuss your potential case, please contact the Firm. The consultation is free and you will never pay attorneys fees if you win, lose, or settle.