AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Wakefield boy is suing a global drugs firm for damages
of more than £50,000 over a claim that a vaccination left him brain-damaged.
Elizabeth Radunovic, of Highfield Crescent, Overton, claims son Karl
developed cerebral palsy and Asperger's syndrome a mild form of autism after
having the triple vaccination for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT)
when he was six weeks old.
The family is now taking on pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in a legal
battle to help pay for his future care.
Mrs Radunovic, 46, told the Wakefield Express: "About two hours after his
vaccination he started crying, which turned into high-pitched screaming. I
phoned the doctor and he came to see Karl. We couldn't calm him down and the
doctor said it could have been a reaction to the vaccine."
Karl was taken to hospital. "They discharged him and after that there was a
total change in him," she said.
"They kept saying he was a lazy baby but he was referred to a specialist and
he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Asperger's syndrome.
"We were devastated at the time, and horrified."
The Middlestown Junior and Infant School pupil's balance is affected and he
is weak down his left side. His Asperger's syndrome causes behavioural
problems and means he is unable to concentrate.
Mrs Radunovic said Karl's behaviour was under control but the future was
"What he's going to be like when he gets older we don't know.
"It has put a big strain on the family. The claim is for his future care."
But the family's case, which is due to be heard at the High Court in
January, needs legal aid.
Mrs Radunovic, a veterinary receptionist who looks after Karl with husband
Michael, a 47-year-old engineer, said: "If you break the law in this country
you get legal aid. But these children didn't ask to be vaccinated.
"When something has gone wrong the company should accept responsibility and
sit up and listen and make sure it doesn't happen in the future."
Mrs Radunovic's London solicitor Peter Todd said the case was at an early
stage. He added it would cost millions and would not go ahead without legal
Karl is one of 120 disabled children suing the Wellcome Foundation, part of
GlaxoSmithKline, for personal injury and consequential loss and damage
allegedly suffered as a result of the vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline is facing a separate claim by thousands of children who
allegedly developed autism after receiving the company's measles, mumps and
rubella (MMR) vaccine.
A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline said: "This is a routine hearing asked for
by the court, which we believe wants to look at the timetable because there
have been delays.
"These delays are not of our making."