A 16-year-old who is suffering from sleep attacks after allegedly developing a rare sleep disorder from the swine flu vaccine has settled her case in the High Court for €1million.
The teenager, who was given the Pandemrix vaccine when she was five, suffered from the sudden onset of sleep without warning, the court said. Her mother said the girl has narcolepsy and cataplexy, which affects muscles.
“As we prepare for this case, it’s hard to ignore the enormity of the challenges our daughter faces in her life,” she said.
“As a parent you only want the best for your child and that is why we are here today to ensure some kind of future for our child who has been taken from him. Our daughter’s strong character will get her through life, but we lament the life she could have had.”
Mr Judge Paul Coffey thanked the mother for her testimony, describing it as “an extremely chastising summary”. He said he had no hesitation in approving the settlement.
Jonathan Kilfeather SC, for the girl, said she has to take two planned naps a day and suffers from fatigue and anxiety. He said she hopes to get into the fashion and art world after school, but will only be able to work part-time.
The girl, through her mother, sued the Secretary of Health, the HSE and GlaxoSmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK), which made Pandemrix. GSK had previously received compensation from the state for any side effects from the vaccine.
The latest settlement follows the case of a 16-year-old boy who settled his lawsuit in November last year. This landmark settlement paved the way for the resolution of 80 Pandemrix vaccine cases.
As part of this settlement, it was agreed that 50 percent of the settlement amount would be paid out.
In the latter case, the severance payment of EUR 1 million corresponds to 50 percent of the total amount.