Case Model: Birdsell

 In V/IP Corpus, Vaccine Compensation Reasoning, Vaccine/Injury Project

Birdsell v. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services,
Office of Special Masters, No. 04-1755V
Filed: May 30, 2006

  • Hepatitis B vaccine
  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Not entitled to compensation

Petitioner Jie Birdsell alleged that the hepatitis B vaccination that her daughter Heather Birdsell received on December 20, 2001 caused her idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

Special Master Millman found that petitioner failed to demonstrate that her daughter’s ITP was caused in fact by that vaccination, and thus dismissed with prejudice the petitioner’s petition.

The petitioner failed to establish a prima facie case on Prong 2 of the Althen test.

The reasoning of the Special Master exhibits the following features:

    • No findings made on Althen Prongs 1 or 3, only on Prong 2;
    • Influential role of evidence from treating physicians; and
    • Assessment of the relative likelihood of two competing causes, using statistics and generalizations from experts.

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