Vaccine Injury Attorney David Carney Brings Neuromyelitis Optica Case to Court

David Carney by David Carney, Partner of Green & Schafle

Green & Schafle partner David Carney, who focuses his litigation practice on vaccine related injuries, recently took a case to trial involving a pediatric ICU nurse who received a flu shot at work and was subsequently diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. The trial took place in the United States Court of Federal Claims, which is located in Washington, D.C. and has jurisdiction over all vaccine-related injury claims arising out of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Vaccine claims are defended by the Department of Health and Human Services, which is represented by the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Carney took this particular case to trial when the Department of Health and Human Services, through its attorneys at the U.S. Department of Justice, contested that the flu vaccine could cause neuromyelitis optica. Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is an inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system characterized by severe, immune-mediated demyelination and axonal damage predominantly targeting optic nerves and the spinal cord. The characteristic symptoms of NMOSD are either optic neuritis or myelitis; either may occur as the first symptom. Optic neuritis is inflammation, of the optic nerve (optic neuritis) leading to pain inside the eye which rapidly is followed by loss of clear vision. Usually, only one eye is affected although both eyes may be involved simultaneously (bilateral). The other predominant syndrome is inflammation of the spinal cord, a condition known as transverse myelitis because the symptoms tend to affect some, and often all motor, sensory and autonomic functions (bladder and bowel) below a certain level on the body, although, not infrequently, symptoms may be confined to one side of the body. Affected individuals may experience pain in the spine or limbs, and mild to severe paralysis of the lower limbs, and loss of bowel and bladder control. At trial, Mr. Carney put on evidence that his client’s NMO began after receiving the influenza vaccine and that the science supported the causal relationship between vaccination and the development of neuromyelitis optica. In support, Mr. Carney relied on well-renowned experts in the fields of neurology and immunology from the top medical institutions in the country. Currently, the Court is evaluating the evidence and testimony from trial in order to write a published decision on whether the flu vaccine can cause neuromyelitis optica and whether it did so for this nurse. Should the Court rule in Mr. Carney’s client’s favor, this will be one of the first decisions where the court found that the influenza vaccine can cause neuromyelitis optica, which would allow similar individuals to obtain compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the future.
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What is the VICP? How does the VICP Work? What Vaccines are Covered by the VICP? How to File a Petition? Who Can File a Petition? What are the VICP Petition Steps? Do You Need a Lawyer to File a VICP Petition? What are the VICP Vaccine Injury Severity Requirements? What are the VICP Statute of Limitations? What are Vaccine Injury Settlements and Payouts?
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