Case Model: Bowes

Bowes v. Secretary of Health and Human Services,
Office of Special Masters, No. 01-481V
Filed: September 8, 2006

  • DTaP, IPV, and HIB vaccines
  • Acute transverse myelitis (ATM)
  • Entitled to compensation

Petitioner Melony Eisenhower alleged that the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (“DTaP”), inactivated polio (“IPV”), and haemophilus influenzae type B (“HIB”) vaccinations that her son, Michael L. Bowes, Jr., received on August 5, 1998, caused his neurologic condition known as “acute transverse myelitis” or ATM.

Special Master Hastings found that the petitioner demonstrated that Michael’s ATM was vaccine-caused, and thus was entitled to compensation.

The reasoning of the Special Master exhibits the following features:

    • He found that an autoimmune process was a plausible mechanism, based on case reports and literature reports, despite the absence of an epidemiologic study;
    • He gave particular note to the notations of treating physicians; and
    • He weighed the credibility of opposing expert opinions.

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