Last week, Massachusetts announced a $35 million increase to a proposed fund for folks injured by a contaminated steroid injection.
Created by the pharmacy company New England Compounding Center, the medication resulted in a nationwide meningitis outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the injection sickened more than 750 people in 20 states. Sixty-four people died.
The money in the fund exists so that those injured by the injection can receive just compensation and begin to reclaim and rebuild their lives.
The federal government maintains a similar fund — The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program — for injuries caused by vaccines. Though rare, side effects from vaccines can be debilitating.
Consider the case of Ann Roberts and her son M.R. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently ruled that M.R. was entitled to compensation for a routine vaccine that caused him to suffer a seizure disorder.
On March 17, 2008, M.R. received a Prevnar vaccine. The vaccine helps to prevent the 13 most common strains of pneumococcal bacteria that can cause diseases such as sepsis and meningitis. At a little more than a year old, M.R. was within the recommended age range for receiving a Prevnar vaccine — six weeks to five years of age.
Several weeks before receiving the vaccine, a doctor described M.R. as “happy, walking everywhere, and interacting.” But afterward, M.R.’s parents noticed that he had begun to fall all the time and had difficulty controlling his muscles.
Up to that point, M.R. had developed normally, with no motor skills problems. M.R. later experienced seizures.
Experts concluded that M.R. was suffering from these seizures as a result of his Prevnar vaccination. The Federal Claims Court agreed and ruled that M.R. and his family would receive compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. A separate ruling will decide the amount. In 2014, the average compensation was more than $500,000.
The Vaccine Program covers many common vaccines. For the most up-to-date list, check out the vaccine injury table published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In order to obtain compensation through the vaccine Program, patients must follow several steps. First, a person must have experienced a vaccine-related injury that has lasted longer than six months, or required hospitalization and surgery.
Patients seeking compensation must then file their claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. From both a legal and medical standpoint, this process can be highly complicated. It is advisable that patients seek legal counsel to guide them through the vaccine litigation process.
If you have suffered from a negative shot reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a vaccination, please contact us today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.