A swine flu Vaccine High Court action has been settled for €1.2m in favour of a now 16-year-old boy who alleged that having the vaccine administered resulted in him developing a rare sleep disorder.
Just four years old when he received the Pandemrix vaccine in November 2009, the teenager, who cannot be named by order of the court,
developed narcolepsy along with cataplexy which involves loss of muscle control and he will require medication for the rest of his life according to his legal counsel, Jonathan Kilfeather SC.
Mr Kilfeather informed the court that his client experiences extreme fatigue and anxiety at heightened levels. He added that there is little prospect for the young boy to ever hope to obtain a full-time job in future.
This most recent swine flu vaccine compensation settlement came after the ground-breaking settlement for a 16-year-old boy in November 2020 – a compensation settlement that cleared the way for the resolution of 80 cases related to the Pandemrix vaccine.
The boy had, via his mother, taken legal action against the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK) — the manufacturer of Pandemrix. However, The State has already allowed GSK an indemnity by the State in relation to any ill effects caused by the swine flu vaccine.
In court the Judge was informed that the boy’s parents are content with the settlement. It was added that the boy’s father believed that narcolepsy is a misunderstood condition and that leading a typical life is very challenging for those suffering with it.
Mr Kilfeather informed the High Court the €1.2 million settlement represented 50% of the full value of the case. This is because it was agreed, under the terms of that settlement, that 50% of the settlement figure would be paid out.
Included in the settlement are educational supports, accommodation expenses for potential third-level education education, a “gold” level medical card and an allowance for the cost of childcare.
As he was giving his approval for the vaccine injury compensation settlement, Justice Paul Coffey remarked that it was at the higher end of the scale for a legal action such as this one.