• Sun, May 11 2008

You Know What This Means……Vaccine Court Again

Tomorrow brings yet another chapter in the annals of the U.S. “Vaccine Court.” Nearly 4900 families have filed claims with the U.S. Court of Claims alleging that vaccines caused autism and/or other neurological problems in their children. Two 10-year-old autistic boys, William Mead and Jordan King, from Portland, Oregon, will serve as the test case to determine whether or not the families should be compensated. According to the Associated Press, lawyers for the families will present “evidence that injections with thimerosal deposit a form of mercury in the brain” and “that mercury excites certain brain cells that stay chronically activated trying to get rid of the intrusion.” Attorney Mike Williams is quoted as saying that, in “‘some kids,’” this can set off a “‘chronic neuroinflammatory pattern that can lead to regressive autism’”: Precisely when the two children first showed symptoms of autism will be a key point.

Given the seeming rampant, and scientifically unproven, fear among parents of babies and young children about vaccines causing autism (see this story), it goes without saying that the outcome of this case will be closely scrutinized. So just a reminder about the consequences of not vaccinating from Orac—-and another story about how, contrary to being a tragedy, life raising an autistic child can be very good indeed.

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  • http://crimsonthought.blogspot.com Cliff

    Ah, we know we’re off to a bad start when “when” is used as a factor. I hope nothing too bad comes of this, really.


  • Sullivan

    A side issue here–it is very interesting how this ties into the “Hannah Poling” case. She was supposed to be the third test case in the proceeding starting tomorrow. As most of us know, she was pulled out when the HHS conceded a vaccine injury did occur.

    What I continue to find interesting is how the mitochondrial disorder argument made any sense in this. The expert reports make no mention of this. Even the report for her replacement has no mention of a mitochondrial arguement. This would be Alexander Krakow–who has since been removed so that they can argue a mitochondrial case. The comments reported by the press from her father indicate that the lawyers were not going to argue mitochondria. They have even gone so far as to move to remove this child (Krakow) entirely from the Omnibus.

    I.e. there is no “fourth” theory of causation for the Omnibus.

    This begs the question–how was Hannah Poling representative of the rest of the Omnibus petitioners?

    As another side note–it appears as though the third causation theory (that MMR alone causes autism) may not be tried. The motions submitted so far indicate that the arguments for this are included in the “first theory” (thimerosal+MMR cause autism).

    So, for people watching this closely, this could be the end of the Omnibus. That is until one side or the other appeals.

  • http://crimsonthought.blogspot.com Cliff

    I think the government concession in some ways kind of stated, in effect, that Hannah wasn’t representative of the Omnibus group as a whole but was instead a genuine exception.


  • stopautismquackery

    Well, I think I’d argue with the “genuine” perhaps, but that’s for another day.

  • http://crimsonthought.blogspot.com Cliff

    Just to be clear, the government concession isn’t my opinion, and it is to a legal standard and not to a scientific standard. But, yeah.


  • stopautismquackery

    Right. I thought about that after I typed it and am glad you understood my point. It was directed at, as you so astutely put as always, the legal standard and not the scientific standard. Thanks Cliff.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Sullivan, thanks for mentioning that. I think the Hannah Poling case sidetracked discussion of the Omnibus proceedings; hope we are not headed next for “mitochondrial court.”

    This is a ruling on the “production of videotapes” of one of the children in the case by George L. Hastings, Jr., Special Master. It was concluded that “that the production of the videotapes is ‘necessary’ to [his] resolution of the causation issue in this case.” —- The Special Master notes that videotape evidence was significant in the Cedillo case.

  • Sullivan

    Kristina, that’s very interesting. I hadn’t seen that, and I thought I was following pretty closely.

    The videotapes in the Cedillo hearing were very important. If the interpretation of the government’s witnesses is taken, the tapes will make the argument that Miss Cedillo’s autism was caused by vaccines. The possibility that she had a vaccine injury (other than autism) and that, as a result, the autism was worsened would still be on the table.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    @Sullivan, Thanks, I really appreciate your mentioning the Poling case in this. Whoever writes the history of autism and vaccines is going to need to fact check and fact check (lest egregious errors be made of the type you pointed out, and also Mike Stanton).

    The Special Master specifically mentions the Cedillo case. Didn’t the tapes also show that Michelle Cedillo showed signs of autism (lack of joint attention, for instance) prior to receiving vaccination?


  • Sullivan


    that was definitele the contention of Dr Fombone. Start on page 115 of the transcript


    According to Dr Fombonne, Miss Cedillo showed early onset social and communication abnormalities, abnormal head growth, and motor delay–all previous to her vaccination.

    Later in the transcript, they show first birthday video (about page 128). They point out a lack of interaction and resposiveness.

    Coming from such an expert as Dr Fombonne, this had to have been damaging to the case.

  • http://www.liquidzeoliteplus.com liquid zeolite

    I don’t know who I like least, vaccine makers or class action lawyers. Both sides seem more interested in making money than helping the victims.

    Parents should “get paid” when mandated vaccines cause harm. I think the current amount is a bit low, should be more like 1-2M IMO. I also think the drug companies should pay part of that bill and laws should be changed to allow anyone who makes a faulty product to suffer the consequences for their negligence.

    To me, common sense suggests kids receive maybe 8 total vaccines throughout their childhood, no more than 1 at a time (sorry MMR) and all 100% mercury free. Some vaccines are just down right ridiculous, the hepatitis shot at birth makes zero sense and causes irreversible harm to the immature immune system of a child.

    Common sense is not that common anymore, so we have to take our health and our kids health into our own hands and constantly research the dangers that chemicals and artificial this or that’s cause to our immune system, not to mention environmental toxins.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Update on the opening remarks from CNN.

  • stopautismquackery

    Common sense tells me neither to purchase nor swallow liquid zeolite.

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  • Regan

    Kev has a couple posts on this at LB/RB and I can’t figure out what the petitioners’ legal strategy is, or maybe it’s just late in the day for me.
    How do you have a really tiny (almost undetectable incidence of regressive autism) AND an epidemic at the same time?

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  • Regan

    It’s a historical event to listen to the Omnibus Hearings
    (but they’re loonngg so budget time).
    Having some time to listen to the mp3s,
    United States Court of Federal Claims
    Vaccine Program/Office of Special Masters
    Thimerosal/Autism Test Trial
    William Mead, Jordan King
    May 12, 2008 – May 30, 2008
    Day 1,
    A PETITIONER’S lawyer for the test cases opens that in this case
    1. The argument is not against vaccines, per se, and
    2. Is on thimerosal, which has been “fortunately” now discontinued and is in the “dustbin of history”, except for some flu vaccines.
    (I only mentioned that because there seems to be a persisting perception that thimerosal is still around in widespread distribution).

    But don’t take my word for it, listen to the record, and read the transcripts first hand when they are posted, since there is examination of biological plausibility by the testifying experts and discussion of the research evidence.

  • Regan
  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Was just sighing over the same article.