Update regarding Flu Vaccine Case

The mother of a teenage girl who claimed she developed the sleep disorder narcolepsy after receiving the swine flu vaccine has told the High Court her daughter was robbed of her childhood and teenage years.

The case, which was settled for €1m today, is the latest in a number of settlements, without admission of liability, of cases against the Minister for Health and the HSE.

It follows a landmark case last year, which paved the way for settlements in an estimated 80 cases related to the Pandemrix vaccine.

The court has granted orders protecting the anonymity of the plaintiff in today's and some other recent cases.

Today, the High Court heard the now 15-year-old girl had developed symptoms of the sleep disorder after she received the swine flu vaccine when she was almost four years old.

While her parents would have noticed symptoms soon after vaccination, her condition was not recorded in her medical records for another seven years.

Therefore, after mediation, it was agreed that her settlement figure would amount to 42.5% of the amount claimed.

She continues to suffer from the effects of narcolepsy and cataplexy, a muscle weakness disorder, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating and anxiety and will require medication for the rest of her life.

The girl was described as "exceptional" with a very high IQ and an ability to speak four languages.

However, her mother told the court that the "world was her oyster", but she was robbed of it and robbed of her childhood and teenage years.

She said her daughter would not reach her full potential. While she planned to attend third level education and go on to employment, she would never be able to work a five-day week and would hopefully find an employer to accommodate her condition.

The woman said her daughter's lifelong condition had affected their small family and would continue to do so, adding: "I just wanted to make the court aware of the daily struggles we are living as a result of this vaccine."

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Coffey thanked the girl's mother for her "very moving statement to the court" and said he was "in wonder at the heroic levels of courage demonstrated in dealing with these challenges".