(Reuters) – As the Biden administration puts the final touches on an emergency COVID-19 vaccine mandate for companies with 100 or more employees, a crucial piece seems to be missing for the unlucky few who experience serious side effects: meaningful legal recourse.
More than 1,300 COVID vaccine-related injury claims are now pending before an obscure government tribunal, which to date has decided only two such cases, one involving swelling of the tongue and throat following the jab, the other alleging long-lasting, severe shoulder pain.
In both instances, the government, which requires claimants to prove their injuries are “the direct result” of a COVID-19 vaccine, denied compensation.
It’s a steep burden of proof. Lawyers tell me the vaccine is so new that there’s virtually no definitive research on injury causation to cite.
Indeed, the overwhelming majority of all litigants under what’s known as the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program have not succeeded. According to program data, 29 claims have been paid for injuries stemming from other vaccines since the tribunal’s inception in 2010. (Ten additional claims won approval but no compensation.) The other 455 claims – 92% – were denied or otherwise deemed ineligible for review.
For those who prevailed, the median award was $5,677, according to my calculations, spanning from a low of $31 to a high of $2.3 million, for a person who contracted Guillain-Barre Syndrome after receiving the H1N1 influenza vaccine.
There is no provision for damages based on pain and suffering.
For people like Jessica McFadden, who said she developed life-threatening blood clots after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine in April, legal options are unclear. She’s not optimistic about her odds of recovering her losses, and it’s certain she won’t be able to recover any pain and suffering damages under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program.
McFadden, 44, said she was previously healthy and needed two emergency surgeries to remove massive clots in her lungs, heart and left leg. She spent nine days in the hospital, racking up $489,153 in medical bills … READ MORE.