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Lady Wrongly Advised on Having MMR Vaccine Receives £16,500

04 July 2014

The MMR group litigation of the 1990s and early noughties was an unmitigated disaster for the injured parties, the solicitors involved, the medical expert community and the Legal Aid Board.

However, Slater and Gordon Lawyer James Bell has recently concluded a successful compensation claim for a lady who was genuinely injured by the MMR vaccine. The client in this case has a condition called Myasthenia Gravis and was on immunosuppressant treatment.
James' client worked in the NHS. In October 2011 following a meeting with her Occupational Health Department at her place of employment, she was advised that as she was working with young children she would need to have the rubella vaccine. This was not available as a single vaccine and she was advised that she would need to have the MMR vaccine. 
James' client suffered with Myasthenia Gravis and was on long term immunosuppressant medication for this. With this in mind she telephoned her treating neurologist Dr.N, an employee of the Defendant, and asked whether it would be advisable for her to have the MMR vaccine. She did not speak with Dr. N direct but spoke to her secretary who advised that she would speak to Dr. N.
A few weeks later she called again and again spoke to the secretary. She was advised that the secretary had spoken to Dr. N and that the she was advised that she could go ahead with MMR vaccine. She duly underwent vaccination in November 2011. 
Following the vaccination she began to suffer with swelling in her knee and both wrists. On Christmas Day 2011 her vision began to deteriorate and she had to undergo laser surgery to her eyes. The Consultant in General Medicine who treated her, advised that he considered that James' client had suffered with the swelling of her optic nerves and he believed that this was secondary to the MMR vaccination. It transpired that the MMR vaccine is a “live vaccine” and as such it is contraindicated for someone with Myasthenia Gravis who is on immunosuppressant treatment – as James' client was.
It was James' client's case therefore that the Defendant had been negligent in the advice given to her regarding the suitability of the vaccine. 
James' clients full and detailed instructions were taken with a view to progressing her claim and investigations were undertaken with regards to liability. Arrangements were made to obtain disclosure of her medical records and consideration was given with regards to the instruction of a suitable expert to provide a view as to liability. Dr. K, Consultant Neurologist subsequently arranged to see her for the purpose of undertaking a report, upon receipt of which careful consideration was given thereto. It was noted that Dr. K was critical of the advice given by the Defendant. On that basis the Defendant was put on notice of the intended claim for damages by way of a Letter of Claim dated 11th September 2012.  
Further evidence in support of James' clients position was obtained from Dr. W, Consultant Immunologist and Allergist and Dr. H, Consultant Rheumatologist. An initial approach was also made to a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mr S. reports were duly received and careful consideration was given to them. 
James' client had sustained financial loss as a result of her injuries and her further instructions were taken in this regard and a Schedule of Loss was duly prepared with a view to disclosing the same to the Defendant. Liability was denied by the Defendant and it became necessary for proceedings to be issued in June 2013. 
Eventually in September 2013 the parties were able to reach agreement with James' client accepting the sum of £16,500 in full and final settlement.

James Bell is a Clinical Negligence Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.

If you feel that you or a member of your family may have a claim for Prescription & Dispensing Errors or GP Neglligence, contact Slater and Gordon Lawyers for a free consultation and we'll be happy to help you.

Call our Clinical & Medical Negligence Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9049 or contact us online.