Family win 18 year fight over MMR damage to son: £90,000 payout is first since concerns over vaccine surfaced
By Martin Delgado
Last updated at 11:35 PM on 28th August 2010
A mother whose son suffered severe brain damage after he was given the controversial MMR vaccine as a baby has been awarded £90,000 compensation.
The judgment is the first of its kind to be revealed since concerns were raised about the safety of the triple jab.
Robert Fletcher, 18, is unable to talk, stand unaided or feed himself.
He endures frequent epileptic fits and requires round-the-clock care from his parents Jackie and John, though he is not autistic.
He suffered the devastating effects after being given the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine when he was 13 months old.
The Department of Health had always denied that the jab was the cause of Robert’s disability.
But now, in a judgment which will give hope to hundreds of other parents whose children have been severely affected by routine vaccinations, a medical assessment panel consisting of two doctors and a barrister has concluded that MMR was to blame.
Robert’s mother Jackie said the money would help with his care, though she described the amount as ‘derisory’.
Her first application for compensation under the Government’s Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme was rejected in 1997 on the grounds that it was impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt what had caused Robert’s illness.
But Mrs Fletcher appealed and in a ruling delivered last week, a new panel of experts came to a different conclusion.