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June 14, 2007

Vaccine-Autism Test Case Begins

Cedillo v. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the first case to determine whether a combination of certain vaccines and thimerosal, a mercury-based vaccine preservative, can cause autism in children is now underway in the Court of Federal Claims.  The trial will take place before three special masters who have been appointed to hear and decide the claim.  The Court of Federal Claims was established in 1986 by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act which establishes a no-fault compensation program for those harmed by childhood vaccinations.  Under the act, an injured person must first file a claim with this special compensation court to seek compensation from a fund that is financed by a tax on vaccines and may inititate a state court tort proceeding against a vaccine manufacturer or provider only after rejecting the judgment of the court.  A surprisingly large number of autism-related claims - 5100 of them - have been filed since 1999 compared to 2700 claims for all other vaccine-related injuries since the program began.  See Tony Muaro's story for Legal Times.

JDP

June 14, 2007 | Permalink

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