A 14-year-old girl who claims to have developed a rare sleep disorder after being vaccinated against swine flu has settled her € 1.325 million lawsuit in the High Court.
The teen, who cannot be named by order of the court, has had swine flu vaccinations twice, the High Court heard.
She suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness, falls into school and will have to take medication for the rest of her life, Judge Paul Coffey was told.
It is one of several settlements announced in the High Court in the last two months involving young people who claimed to have developed narcolepsy and cataplexy, which affects the muscles, after receiving the Pandemrix vaccine.
The settlements are based on the case of a 16-year-old boy who settled his lawsuit in November last year. This groundbreaking deal paved the way for resolving 80 cases related to the Pandemrix vaccine.
As part of this settlement, it was agreed that 50 percent of the settlement amount would be paid out.
As the court previously heard, the settlement provides for extensive benefits, including educational grants, accommodation costs in connection with university studies, a “Gold” health insurance card and childcare costs.
In the most recent case, the girl had sued the Minister of Health, HSE and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK) – the manufacturer of Pandemrix – through her mother.
GSK had previously received compensation from the state for all side effects of the vaccine.
Her attorney, Jonathan Kilfeather SC, told the court that she received the Pandemrix vaccine twice: first in November 2009 and again two years later when GPs were advised to give Pandemrix as a flu vaccine, the attorney said.
The girl has narcolepsy and cataplexy and it’s hard, he said. He said she was suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness and was staying at school. She has a lifelong need for medication and has had to quit exercising, he said.
Mr Kilfeather said the girl had a very high IQ and wanted to go to medical school after school, but she had to take a different path now.
He said she needed a lot of care. He said the mediator said she should receive the full 50 percent of the total value of the case instead of the proposed 30 percent, and the settlement reflected that. She is also entitled to all benefits.
Justice Paul Coffey said he did not hesitate to approve the settlement and that he did his best for the teenage girl and her parents.