Petition for Compensation for Autism Allegedly Caused By Vaccines

By FindLaw Staff on May 13, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Hazlehurst v. Sec'y of Health & Human Serv., No. 09-5128, concerned a petition of the Court of Federal Claims' decision affirming the special master's denial of plaintiffs' claim on behalf of their son, seeking compensation under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, claiming that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, which was administered to their son before his first birthday, caused him to develop regressive autism.

In affirming the decision of the Court of Federal Claims, the court held that compensation under the Act is limited to those individuals whose injuries or deaths can be linked causally, either by a Table Injury presumption or by a preponderance of "causation-in-fact" evidence to a listed vaccine.  Here, the special master's conclusion that petitioners' evidence failed to demonstrate the necessary causal link is correct, as  the petitioners have not identified any reversible error in the special master's decision reaching that conclusion. 

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