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The Vaccine Court by Rohde Wayne

The Vaccine Court by Rohde Wayne

Author:Rohde, Wayne
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Published: 2014-01-01T05:00:00+00:00


It was convenient for the special masters to deny the petitioners access to the Vaccine Safety Data Link. Yet it is the government that relied upon the same system as the basis for their studies that are referenced and cited as evidence in the OAP hearings. This is just another example of the government having access to documents and vaccine safety and injury data and not allowing the petitioners to have access.

On July 18, 2006, the PSC proposed conducting a hearing in June 2007. The original concept of hearings was to conduct them for all the theories of causation. However, on December 20, 2006, the PSC proposed rather than a general causation hearing for all the petitioners’ causation theories, the PSC would instead present an actual case as a “test case” to test one of the three general theories; namely the theory that a combination of the MMR and thimerosal-containing vaccines can cause autism.19 The PSC proposed that the court conduct future hearings on theory 2 of just thimerosal-containing vaccines and theory 3 of MMR only. The court would agree, with the condition that the PSC needed to present two additional petitions for the first set of hearings. Cedillo v. HHS would need two additional petitioners.20 The two petitions needed to be identified to the court by December 30, 1996.

This deadline would not produce the required two additional cases. The court extended the deadline to February 24, 1997, then till March 30, 1997, then to April 30, 1997, and to May 10, 1997. Still no petitions were named by the PSC.

On May 25, 2007, the court issued an Autism Omnibus update to all parties. The court provided an update to the first test case of Cedillo v. HHS, scheduled for evidentiary hearings for June 11–26, 2007. In this hearing, the attorneys for both the petitioner, Michelle Cedillo, and the respondent, HHS Secretary, would present testimony for the “general causation issue” of whether the MMR vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines can combine to cause autism. Also, the petitioner would present specific testimony on the behalf of Michelle Cedillo, which the PSC selected as the first test case.21

The OAP hearings were unique to the court. For previous Omnibus proceedings, a special master would conduct the hearing for a selected test case or cases. In the OAP, three special masters would preside over the hearing. Special Master George Hastings was selected to issue a decision on the specific causation issue over the Cedillo hearing, while the other two special masters would participate in order to hear the general causation evidence.22

Also included in the May 25, 2007, Autism Update was the discussion of a “Crisis Point” in the OAP. The court asserted its displeasure with the PSC regarding their inability to find two additional petitions for the upcoming hearings scheduled for June 2007. The court warned that if the PSC and other attorneys that represented petitions assigned to the OAP did not provide two additional petitioners, the court might resort back to adjudicating each petition “case by case,” dissolving the OAP, or randomly picking a test case.



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