An announcement was made today by the law firm
of Waters & Kraus, the firm that filed the first known lawsuit alleging that a mercury
preservative in children's vaccines caused neurological damage to an infant ultimately diagnosed
with autism. Waters & Kraus is leading a consortium of ten firms in as many states that are
actively prosecuting cases of this nature (firms listed below). Andy Waters, the lead attorney in the cases, announced that his firm is now in possession
of a previously unreleased confidential report authored by Centers for Disease Control scientists
which studied autism as a potential neurological injury caused by mercury in children's vaccines.
A different version of the report was made
public and has been cited by the recent Institute of Medicine study as inconclusive on the issue
of whether the mercury-based vaccine preservative known as thimerosal has contributed to cause a
nationwide epidemic of regressive autism and other neurological disorders in small children. The confidential version of the study, however, clearly demonstrated that an exposure to
more than 62.5 micrograms of mercury within the first three months of life significantly increased
a child's risk of developing autism. Specifically,
the study found a 2.48 times increased risk of autism - that is to say, children with the exposure
were more than twice as likely to develop autism as children not exposed.
In the United States, courts of law have
generally held that a relative increased risk of 2.0 or higher is sufficient to substantiate that
a given exposure causes disease. As but one example,
in the case of Cook v. United States, 545 F.Supp. 306, at 308 (Northern District -
California 1982) the Court stated that, "in a vaccine case, a relative risk greater than 2.0
establishes that there is a greater than 50% chance that the injury was caused by the
Waters indicated that, in many of the cases his
firm has evaluated, including the case filed in a Texas state court on behalf of the Counter
family, the affected child received more than 62.5 micrograms of mercury through pediatric
vaccines in the first three months of life.
The confidential report, which was obtained by
the SAFEMINDS support and advocacy group, states: "As
for the exposure evaluated at 3 months of age, we found increasing risks of 'neurological
developmental disorders' with increasing cumulative exposure to thimerosal ... within the group of
'developmental disorders'... for the sub-group called 'specific delays,' and within this sub-group
for the specific disorder 'developmental speech disorder,' and for 'autism,' 'stuttering' and
'attention deficit disorder.'"
The report also contained the graph depicted below which illustrated the report's findings of a
child's increasing risk of developing the neurological symptoms of autism after receiving
increasing amounts of thimerosal.
3: Relative risk - 95 % CI of Autism after different exposure levels of thimerosal at 3 months of age, NCK
Waters called the report's contents and the
fact that it was kept from the public as "shocking, but unfortunately not surprising, given
the political influence of pharmaceutical companies and the tremendous liability they face if they
are forced to compensate thousands of families for the costs of care that these children
require." Waters added that "no amount of money can give these children back the
potential that they were born with, and no amount of money will comfort the parents that watched
helplessly as their children literally just slipped away." The purpose of the lawsuits his firm is currently prosecuting, said Waters, is "to
bring to the surface the truth on this issue, a truth that government agencies seem unwilling to
admit, perhaps for fear that parents will stop vaccinating their children, and to force the
companies that profited from this disastrous mistake to shoulder the responsibility that so many
families now bear on their own, often without even the aid of health insurance benefits."
Media inquiries should be directed to Melissa
Miles at 214-357-6244.
Client inquiries should be directed to Victoria
Gibson at 800-226-9880, or to the firms listed below.
Other firms working with Waters & Kraus to
prosecute individual cases involving thimerosal exposure are:
& KRIEGER, APLC
40925 County Center Drive, Suite 210
Temecula, California 92591
726 Delmas Avenue
Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567
& MURPHY, LLP
1234 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14209
& WEATHERSBY, L.L.C.
3405 Piedmont Road, Suite 225
Atlanta, Georgia 30305-1764
Telephone : 404-233-8718
214 Capital Street
P.O. Box 11070
Charleston, W. VA 25339
MARTIN, PARRIS, & TESSENER LAW OFFICES, PLLC
410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
11 Bala Ave.
Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004
338 Lafayette Street
New Orleans, Louisianna 70130
& JULIAN, PC
3555 College Avenue
Alton, Illinois 62002