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Swine Flu Legal Actions to be heard in November

It has been announced that the High Court will hear the second lead action of about 100 swine flu vaccine compensation cases that occurred during the pandemic of 2009 and 2010 have been provisionally fixed for November.

A claim was originally submitted by 15-year-old Benjamin Blackwell against the Minister for Health, the HSE and Glaxosmithkline Biologicals SA (GSK), manufacturer of Pandemrix alleging that he experiences serious side effect die to being given the vaccine in 2010. These side effects include narcolepsy and cataplexy.

The hearing may last for up to 16 weeks and is the second Pandemrix compensation case to come before the High Court. Medical expert will provide testimony based on the evidence that is provided by the plaintiff’s and defendant’s. The first original legal hearing was linked with the suffering experienced, due to the Pandemrix vaccine, by Aoife Bennett (26). A settlement was reached in relation to this action in November 2019 following a five-week hearing. Due to the confidential terms of the settlement the final figure of compensation was not publicly share and there was no admission of liability. Ms Bennett’s legal counsel submitted the claim looking for €6m compensation in relation to Ms Bennett’s suffering and trauma.

Ms Bennett was given the Pandemrix vaccine in December 2009 as part of the State campaign to tackle the the swine flu pandemic with the programme run in every school. Ms Bennett informed the High Court that she experiences narcolepsy and cataplexy.

Justice Michael McGrath  established a hearing date of November 3 2020 for the Blackwell legal action, a date that is very dependent on the situation in November linked to Covid-19. Due to the pandemic a a venue large enough to host the personnel involved in the legal action. There is no space large enough in the the Four Courts that will fit all the witnesses and experts involved in line with the current Covid-19 guidelines. An update is due to be provided in September.

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