BOYER v. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

No. 15-1160V.

ROBERT BOYER, Petitioner, v. SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Respondent.

United States Court of Federal Claims.

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 42 U.S.C. § 300
Cause: 42 U.S.C. § 300 Vaccine Injury Act
Nature of Suit: 494 Injury - Influenza
Source: PACER


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

ROBERT BOYER, Petitioner, represented by Ronald Craig Homer , Conway, Homer, P.C..

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Respondent, represented by Adriana Ruth Teitel , U. S. Department of Justice.


UNPUBLISHED

DECISION BASED ON STIPULATION1

NORA BETH DORSEY, Chief Special Master.

On October 9, 2015, Robert Boyer ("petitioner") filed a petition for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ("the Program")2 alleging that as a result of the influenza vaccination he received on October 19, 2012, he suffered from ischemic optic neuropathy. Petition at 1.

On May 18, 2017, the parties filed a stipulation recommending an award of compensation to petitioner. Stipulation (ECF No. 41). Respondent denies that the influenza vaccine caused any injury to petitioner. Nevertheless, the parties agree to the joint stipulation, attached hereto as Appendix A. The undersigned finds the stipulation reasonable and adopts it as the decision of the Court in awarding damages, on the terms set forth therein.

The parties stipulate that petitioner shall receive the following:

A lump sum of $160,000.00 in the form of a check payable to petitioner, Mr. Robert Boyer.

This amount represents compensation for all damages that would be available under 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-21(a)(1). Stipulation at ¶ 8.

The undersigned approves the requested amount for petitioner's compensation. Accordingly, an award should be made consistent with the stipulation.

In the absence of a motion for review filed pursuant to RCFC Appendix B, the clerk of the court SHALL ENTER JUDGMENT in accordance with the terms of the parties' stipulation.3

IT IS SO ORDERED.

STIPULATION

The parties hereby stipulate to the following matters:

1. Petitioner Robert Boyer ("petitioner") filed a petition for vaccine compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-10 to 34 (the "Vaccine Program"). The petition seeks compensation for injuries allegedly related to petitioner's receipt of an influenza vaccine ("flu"), which vaccine is contained in the Vaccine Injury Table (the "Table"), 42 C.F.R. § 100.3 (a).

2. Petitioner received his flu immunization on October 19, 2012.

3. The vaccine was administered within the United States.

4. Petitioner alleges that he suffered a vaccine-related injury diagnosed as ischemic optic neuropathy that was caused-in-fact by the flu vaccine he received. He further alleges that he experienced the residual effects of this injury for more than six months.

5. Petitioner represents that there has been no prior award or settlement of a civil action for damages as a result of his conditions.

6. Respondent denies that petitioner's ischeinic optic neuropathy and its residual effects was caused-in-fact by the flu vaccine. Respondent further denies that the flu vaccine caused petitioner any other injury or his current condition.

7. Maintaining their above-stated positions, the parties nevertheless now agree that the issues between them shall be settled and that a decision should be entered awarding the compensation described in paragraph 8 of this Stipulation.

8. As soon as practicable after an entry of judgment reflecting a decision consistent with the terms of this Stipulation, and after petitioner has filed an election to receive compensation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-21(a)(1), the Secretary of Health and lIuman Services will issue the following vaccine compensation payment:

A lump sum of $160,000.00 in the form of a check payable to petitioner. This amount represents compensation for all damages that would be available under 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-15(a).

9. As soon as practicable after the entry of judgment on entitlement in this case, and after petitioner has filed both a proper and timely election to receive compensation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-21(a)(1), and an application, the parties will submit to further proceedings before the special master to award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in proceeding upon this petition.

10. Petitioner and his attorney represent that they have identified to respondent all known sources of payment for items or services for which the Program is not primarily liable under 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-15(g), including State compensation programs, insurance policies, Federal or State health benefits programs (other than Title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.)), or entities that provide health services on a pre-paid basis.

11. Payment made pursuant to paragraph 8 and any amounts awarded pursuant to paragraph 9 of this Stipulation will be made in accordance with 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-15(i), subject to the availability of sufficient statutory funds.

12. The parties and their attorneys further agree and stipulate that, except for any award for attorneys' fees and litigation costs and past unreimbursable expenses, the money provided pursuant to this Stipulation will be used solely for the benefit of petitioner as contemplated by a strict construction of 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-15(a) and (d), and subject to the conditions of 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-15(g) and (h).

13. In return for the payments described in paragraphs 8 and 9, petitioner, in his individual capacity, and on behalf of his heirs, executors, administrators, successors or assigns, does forever irrevocably and unconditionally release, acquit and discharge the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services from any and all actions or causes of action (including agreements, judgments, claims, damages, loss of services, expenses and all demands of whatever kind or nature) that have been brought, could have been brought, or could be timely brought in the Court of Federal Claims, under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-10 et seq., on account of, or in any way growing out of, any and all known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected personal injuries to or death of petitioner resulting from, or alleged to have resulted from, the flu vaccination administered on October 19, 2012, as alleged by petitioner in his petition for vaccine compensation filed on October 9, 2015, in the United States Court of Federal Claims as petition No. 15-1160V.

14. If petitioner should die prior to entry of judgment, this agreement shall be voidable upon proper notice to the Court on behalf of either or both of the parties.

15. If the special master fails to issue a decision in complete conformity with the terms of this Stipulation or if the Court of Federal Claims fails to enter judgment in conformity with a decision that is in complete conformity with the terms of this Stipulation, then the parties' settlement and this Stipulation shall be voidable at the sole discretion of either party.

16. This Stipulation expresses a full and complete negotiated settlement of liability and damages claimed under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, as amended, except as otherwise noted in paragraph 9 above. There is absolutely no agreement on the part of the parties hereto to make any payment or to do any act or thing other than is herein expressly stated and clearly agreed to. The parties further agree mid understand that the award described in this Stipulation may reflect a compromise of the parties' respective positions as to liability and/or amount of damages, and further, that a change in the nature of the injury or condition or in the items of compensation sought, is not grounds to modify or revise this agreement.

17. This Stipulation shall not be construed as an admission by the United States or the Secretary of Health and Human Services that the flu vaccination caused petitioner to suffer ischemic optic neuropathy or any other injury.

18. All rights and obligations of petitioner hereunder shall apply equally to petitioner's heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and/or assigns.

FootNotes


1. Because this decision contains a reasoned explanation for the undersigned's action in this case, the undersigned intends to post this decision on the website of the United States Court of Federal Claims, in accordance with the E-Government Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-347, 116 Stat. 2899, 2913 (Dec. 17, 2002). As provided by Vaccine Rule 18(b), each party has 14 days within which to request redaction "of any information furnished by that party: (1) that is a trade secret or commercial or financial in substance and is privileged or confidential; or (2) that includes medical files or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy." Vaccine Rule 18(b). Otherwise, the entire decision will be available to the public. Id.
2. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is set forth in Part 2 of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-660, 100 Stat. 3755, codified as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 300aa-1 to -34 (2006) ("Vaccine Act" or "Act"). All citations in this decision to individual sections of the Act are to 42 U.S.C.A. § 300aa.
3. Pursuant to Vaccine Rule 11(a), entry of judgment is expedited by the parties' joint filing of notice renouncing the right to seek review.

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