A 16-year-old boy who sued claiming he developed a rare sleep disorder after receiving a swine flu jab has settled his High Court action for €900,000.
The teenager who cannot be named by order of the court was five years of age when he received the Pandemrix vaccine in November 2009.
The boy’s counsel Jonathan Kilfeather SC told the High Court the boy suffered sleep disturbance and loss of concentration and in August 2016 a diagnosis of narcolepsy was made.
The latest settlement follows on the case of another 16-year-old boy who settled his action in November last year. That groundbreaking settlement paved the way for the resolution of 80 cases over the Pandemrix vaccine.
It was agreed under the terms of that settlement that 50 per cent of the settlement figure would be paid out. Mr Kilfeather told the High Court today the €900,000 settlement in the latest case represented 50 per cent of the full value of the case.
'Gold' medical card
The court previously heard there are extensive benefits in the settlements which include educational supports, accommodation costs in relation to third-level education, a “gold” medical card as well as childcare costs.
The boy had through his mother sued the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK) — the producer of Pandemrix.
GSK was previously given an indemnity by the State concerning any adverse reactions to the vaccine.
It was claimed in May 2010 the boy showed signs of excessive day time sleeping and his parents became increasingly concerned for him . He also woke up at night very disturbed and his teachers reported his lack of concentration and focus at school.
In 2013 he attended his GP with complaints of tiredness and falling asleep easily and was later assessed. The boy had a propensity to sleep easily in the car , at school or even at sporting events. A formal diagnosis of the sleep disorder narcolepsy along with cataplexy was made in 2016.
It was further claimed the boy’s quality of life, development and education has been seriously curtailed and he is reliant on medication daily to manage his condition.
His pain an suffering as a result of his condition it was claimed is ongoing and he faces challenges in all aspects of his life into the future including occupational challenges.
Mr Kilfeather told the court the case had been settled by mediation.
Approving the settlement Mr Justice Kevin Cross said it was a good one and he wished the teenager all the best for the future.