Boy who developed ‘rare sleep disorder’ after swine flu jab settles court action for €1.2m

His counsel said the boy developed narcolepsy and loss of muscle control

The boy, through his mother, sued the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK), the producer of Pandemrix

The boy, through his mother, sued the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK), the producer of Pandemrix

 

A boy who claimed he developed a rare sleep disorder after receiving a swine flu jab has settled his High Court action for €1.2 million.

The court ordered that the boy, now aged 16, cannot be identified.

He was aged four when he received the Pandemrix vaccine in November 2009.

His counsel Jonathan Kilfeather SC said the boy developed narcolepsy along with cataplexy, which involves loss of muscle control, and will require medication for the rest of his life.

The boy suffers extreme fatigue and anxiety at elevated levels and it is not likely he will ever be able to have a full time job, counsel said.

The latest settlement follows on the case of another 16 year old boy who settled his action in November last year.

That ground breaking settlement paved the way for the resolution of 80 cases over the Pandemrix vaccine. It was agreed under that settlement that 50 per cent of the settlement figure would be paid out.

On Tuesday, Mr Kilfeather told the court, in the latest case, the €1.2 million settlement represented 50 per cent of the full value of the case. The court previously heard there are extensive benefits in the settlement which include educational supports, accommodation costs in relation to third-level education, a “gold” medical card as well as childcare costs.

The boy, through his mother, sued the Minister for Health, the HSE, and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK), the producer of Pandemrix. GSK was previously given an indemnity by the State concerning any adverse reactions to the vaccine.

The court heard the boy’s parents were satisfied with the settlement. His father told the court narcolepsy is very misunderstood and that a normal life is practically impossible with it.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey, approving the settlement, noted it was at the higher end of the scale.