Vaccine Attorney David Carney Settles Guillain-Barre Syndrome Case
Vaccine attorney David Carney recently settled a Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) case for $300,000 on behalf of a Kentucky man who suffered an onset of GBS within 30 days of receiving his annual influenza vaccine. Mr. Carney’s client was a diabetic who required the annual flu shot based on recommendations from his primary care provider. Approximately 30 days later, he suffered an onset of numbness, weakness and tingling in his toes, feet and legs that rapidly progressed up his body and into his chest causing him to struggle breathing. He required emergent treatment at his nearby hospital and was eventually transferred to another hospital where he received IVIG treatment. Nearly a year after the onset of his symptoms and after aggressive inpatient rehabilitation, he suffered a relapse of his condition, which required additional IVIG treatment and inpatient rehabilitation.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. The initial symptoms include weakness and tingling in the hands and feet. These sensations can quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body. Guillain-Barre syndrome is an extremely dangerous and catastrophic disease in which emergent treatment at the hospital is critical to survival. It is diagnosed through a spinal tap to examine the cerebral spinal fluid and through an EMG where the electrodes measure nerve activity in the muscles. The most common treatment is Immunoglobulin containing healthy antibodies from blood donors is given intravenously. High doses of immunoglobulin can block the damaging antibodies that may contribute to Guillain-Barre syndrome. GBS is known to be caused by several viruses, bacteria and the influenza vaccine (flu shot), particularly based on the Swine Flu Vaccine Study from 1976.
Compensation in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program consists of pain and suffering, lost wages and future medical care. However, pain and suffering is subject to a federal statutory cap of $250,000, which was established in 1986 with the enactment of the Vaccine Act. While Mr. Carney maximized the value of his client’s case, it is a stark reminder that caps on damages, which are not adjusted for inflation or cost of living for nearly 40 years, continue to hinder injured victims’ ability to obtain the just compensation they deserve.