Through the efforts and strong arguments of David Carney and his vaccine litigation team, Petitioner Sands was awarded $130,000.00 in damages for his Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) that was caused by an influenza vaccine. Mr. S was given the flu vaccine on November 20, 2018, and about two weeks later, he started experiencing symptoms of GBS. Mr. S began feeling weakness throughout his body, numbness in his hands and feet, and a loss of balance. Mr. S treated with prescription medication, EMGs, and visits with a neurosurgeon, physical therapist, and his primary care doctor. Even with this treatment, Mr. S was not given a diagnosis until approximately four months after his vaccine, when it was confirmed that he was suffering from GBS. Further, Mr. S had to take time off work from December 2018 through March 2019 due to his injury, and then only worked a few hours a day when he was finally able to return to work. Even after treating his GBS for nearly a year, Mr. S experienced residual symptoms of GBS, including numbness in his feet and fingertips, and a jittery feeling in his arms and legs.
The Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice defended the case and made the faulty argument that Mr. S had a mild case of GBS and recommended an award of $55,000.00. Mr. Carney emphasized that $55,000.00 was a paltry to sum to compensate someone that had been paralyze from a deadly autoimmune disease and required aggressive treatment and rehabilitation to recover.
The Court agreed with Mr. Carney that the severity of GBS that required an impatient hospitalization, diagnostic testing and IVIG treatment, and the positive recovery through rehabilitation warranted an award of $130,000 for Mr. S’s pain and suffering. Further, the Court indicated that the Respondent did not give sufficient weight to the seriousness of a GBS injury or the specific facts of Mr. S’s case. Lastly, the Court held that GBS is a serious injury that justifies a six-figure award even though Mr. S did not have the worst case of GBS or a complicated and lengthy recovery.