Court of Claims Awards Millions in Vaccine - Autism Case
Posted Sep 14 2010 7:55pm
The US Court of Federal Claims has awarded millions of dollars in compensation to the family of an Athens, Georgia, girl who, as a toddler, fell ill with an autism-like condition after she was vaccinated against nine diseases on the same day, according to CBS News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).
The government settled her parents' claim in 2007, but it took more than 2 years for the sides to agree on the compensation. The family is receiving $1.5 million immediately to cover care in the first year after the settlement, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering. In addition, the family will get $140,000 to cover past expenses and an annuity contract worth at least $500,000 a year to care for and educate the girl,
Hannah Poling, throughout her life, the AJC reported. Federal officials concluded in 2008 that the vaccines Poling received did not directly cause her autism symptoms, but rather aggravated a rare mitochondrial disorder, which in turn led to her condition, according to the news reports. "It's critical to remember that the federal government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines," Martin Kramer, a spokesman for the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), told the AJC. HRSA administers the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
The AJC noted that more than 5,000 families have filed complaints of vaccine-related autism with the program since 1999, and of about 700 claims adjudicated so far, all but the Poling claim have been turned down. Numerous studies have failed to find a link between vaccines and autism.