Vaccines – Litigation: Child with PDD-NOS (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Compensated for Damage from the MMR Vaccine


Statement prepared by: Rebecca Estepp                 
Contact Phone: (949) 640-4401

February 25, 2009

Who is Bailey Banks?

Last night the world learned of another child, Bailey Banks, (who is on the Autism Spectrum) has received compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and David Kirby reported on Bailey’s explosive story in the Huffington Report. Read their stories.

The history of Bailey Banks’ case

In June of 2007, Special Master Richard Abell ruled that Bailey, now age 10, should receive compensation for an injury he received from a MMR vaccine administered when he was a toddler. Special Master Abell concluded that the evidence presented in court demonstrated that Bailey suffered from a brain inflammation illness called Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM). ADEM had been linked to the MMR vaccine in previous cases and it was linked again in Bailey’s case. The Special Master then determined from the testimony heard in court that ADEM could ultimately result in Pervasive Developmental Delay—Not Otherwise Specified, commonly referred to as PDD-NOS. Read the ruling here.

Is PDD-NOS Autism?

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) – yes. For a description from their resource materials here is how NIMH describes Autism Spectrum Disorders:

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDDs), cause severe and pervasive impairment in thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others. Read reference.

This sounds familiar, why?

Last year at this time, we learned about a little girl named Hannah Poling. Hannah’s vaccine injury case was conceded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Hannah was awarded compensation without going to trial, presumably because the evidence was so great that her routine vaccinations contributed to her autistic-like symptoms that there was no other choice but to award compensation. The Concession Report declared that Hannah had an underlying mitochondrial condition which contributed to her “autistic-like” symptoms.

Is Bailey Banks’ case different than Hannah Poling’s?

Yes. It is important to point out that Bailey Banks’ case was a decision, not a concession. In this case, there was a trial. Following the trial there was a ruling that gave this little boy over $810,000 for his care over his lifetime.

Is the cause of these two children’s condition the same?

Yes and no. As stated above, Hannah received a concession under the hypothesis that her vaccines aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder which caused “autistic-like” symptoms. Bailey Banks’ received a favorable ruling under the hypothesis that the MMR vaccine caused his ADEM condition which triggered his development to be significantly altered and manifest into PDD-NOS. So yes, vaccines were linked to these children’s conditions but Hannah’s involved mitochondrial problems and Bailey’s involved brain inflammation. These are two different mechanisms of injury.
For more information on Hannah’s case – please see these links:

Was Bailey Banks’ case in the Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP)?

No. Bailey’s case was heard in vaccine court but his attorney opted out of the OAP. It was a stand alone case that was not lumped into the 5300 cases in the OAP.

Why not?

For a very unfortunate situation—a vaccine injury, Bailey had something very fortunate occur. His parents were able to obtain a MRI several days after his MMR adverse reaction which determined that Bailey had sustained a brain injury. This evidence set Bailey’s case apart from the other thousands of families in the OAP.

On the front page of the Bailey Banks’ decision the term “non-autistic developmental delay” is used, what does that mean?

My son was diagnosed on the autism spectrum almost nine years ago, since that day I have lived and breathed everything autism and its related disorders. Until today, I have never heard of “non-autistic developmental delay.” From this statement, I googled the term. I got13 hits. Half of the “hits” were from Robert F. Kennedy and David Kirby’s Huffington Post. A couple of other entries were from Bailey’s Court decision. One or two were from obscure academic papers that I have never heard of. I am beginning to think that “non-autistic developmental delay” is much like Hannah Poling’s “autistic like symptoms” that was stated in her concession report from the court. In Hannah’s case, the court would not link her autism to the vaccines she received. The court would only link her “autistic like symptoms” to her vaccines. As a parent of a child with autism, I learned long ago that there is no genetic test for autism, there is only a list of symptoms. If your child has those symptoms, your child has autism. The court split hairs on that statement and it really outraged the Autism Community. Mark Blaxill wrote a fantastic article about this very subject. Read it here.

No link to Vaccines & Autism

While the press and several vocal scientists continue to quote there is no link between autism and vaccines, we encourage individuals to continue to do their own research. There appears to be a pattern in a susceptible group of children receiving adverse reactions to their vaccines leading to regressive autism.
Medical abstracts that review the link of autism and vaccine injuries including other co-morbid features often found in children affected by autism can be found at these links:

So what does this Bailey Banks decision mean?

Here is the significance as I see it: In the past year, we have learned of five outcomes from the Vaccine Court. Hannah Poling’s case was conceded. Bailey Banks’ case was decided in his favor. Then we have the Cedillo, Snyder and Hazlehurst cases that were ruled in favor of the respondents. The scoreboard is currently set at:
Vaccines leading to autism theory = 2
Vaccines not leading to autism = 3

This is a close game. And as I ended my last statement, this fight is not over.

Related TACA Links for Families

Vaccine Choices:

Omnibus Hearings