Another teenager settles High Court action over swine flu jab for €1.3m

It is one of a number of settlements in the past two months of young people who claimed they developed narcolepsy and cataplexy after the Pandemrix vaccine
Another teenager settles High Court action over swine flu jab for €1.3m

A 14-year-old girl who claims she developed a rare sleep disorder after getting the swine flu jab has settled her High Court action for €1.325 million.

The teenager, who cannot be named by order of the court, got the swine flu jab twice, the High Court heard.

She suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness, zones out at school and will need to take medication for the rest of her life, Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told.

This is one of a number of settlements announced before the High Court in the past two months of young people who claimed they developed narcolepsy and cataplexy, which affects the muscles, after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine.

The settlements follow on the case of a 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.

The court previously heard there are extensive benefits in the settlement which include educational supports, accommodation costs in relation to third-level education, and a “gold” medical card as well as childcare costs.

Daytime sleepiness

In the latest case, the girl had through her 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.

Her counsel Jonathan Kilfeather SC told the court she got the Pandemrix vaccine twice, first in November 2009 and again two years later when Counsel said GPs were advised they could give Pandemrix as a flu vaccine.

The girl, he said, has narcolepsy and cataplexy and it is in the severe scale. He said she suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness and zones out while at school. She has a lifelong requirement for medication, Counsel said, and she has had to give up all sports.

Mr Kilfeather said the girl has a very high IQ and had wanted to study medicine after school but she will now have to go in a different direction.

He said she has a high care need. He said the mediator had said she should get the full 50 per cent of the total value of the case, instead of a suggested 30 per cent, and the settlement reflected that. She is also entitled to all the benefits.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he had no hesitation in approving the settlement and he conveyed his very best to the teenager and her parents.

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