The Cedillo Decision

August 30, 2010

Vaccine Injury: The Fletchers and Cedillos – a Tale of Two Families

By John Stone

This weekend the British government conceded as little as possible as late as possible in the case of Robert Fletcher (HERE), the son of Jackie Fletcher, the UK’s leading vaccine safety campaigner, and director of JABS (HERE). On a bitter-sweet note the news came in just as the US health department was repulsively trumpeting its vaccine court defeat of Michelle Cedillo in the US media.

In the Fletcher case it seems likely that the tribunal conceded aware that more might come out about the case if it went to judicial review. In the Cedillo case the Federal court failed to act in its adjudication on the irregularities which Dan Olmsted reported in these columns back in June (HERE).

The UK tribunal awarded the sum of £90,000, which is neither here nor there in terms of Robert’s long term care –reduced from the standard UK vaccine damage unit award of £120,000 (because it was an old case!), and the Fletcher’s will have to return approx £10,000 to the Legal Services Commission for supporting the action.

The suffering of these two great-hearted young people and their families knows no bounds. Both are beset by seizures day and night, have extreme mobility problems, incontinence and cannot speak. There is little doubt by now that the Cedillo case has foundered in part on the difficulty of showing that the psychiatrically defined condition of autism can be caused by vaccine, although as we know there have been autism related vaccine damage awards in the US such as Hannah Poling and Bailey Banks the courts prefer to play semantic games rather than accord justice. Both families have also – like Andrew Wakefield - suffered the attentions of journalist Brian Deer. Jackie Fletcher has been on the end of endless vituperative attacks by Deer in such article as ‘Did she know about the Dough?’ and ‘The Cruelty of JABS’ while Deer himself explained how he intervened in the Cedillo case (HERE):

“That said, I am also very proud that, like the GMC, the US government sought my help in mounting its case in Cedillo (sic), copiously borrowing pages of evidence from my website and displaying some in court. I was surprised by this. I assumed that they would have sophisticated contacts with other governments and with industry, and could pretty much get what they wanted. However, on a number of occasions I would come home, find an email from the department of justice asking me for a document , and see the next day it was being run in court. Bit of a seat of the pants job by the DoJ (brought about by the plaintiffs changing their case at the last minute). Indeed, I recall supplying a key document on the O’Leary lab business, which the DoJ didn’t seem to know about just weeks before the hearing.Hence the late surfacing of Bustin and Chadwick. It was me wot done that, and I’m glad. I don’t say these things to boast, only perhaps to wonder why-if there all these grand conspiracies behind the defence of vaccine safety- governments and regulators are so untogether that a mere journalist can get ahead of them in the game.”

Or perhaps they could not do it any other way? These are two magnificent families who have always put the interests of the autism and vaccine damage communities ahead of their own, and their courage stands as a constant rebuke to the governments of their respective countries.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.