Friday 24 November 2017

Schoolgirl gets €4,000 for flu jab given without parents’ consent

Ray Managh

A SIX-YEAR-OLD child given a flu vaccine at school without her parents’ consent has been awarded €4,000 damages.

In the Circuit Civil Court, Judge Matthew Deery was told Niamh Fleming had been taken from her classroom in a Dublin city centre school, St Laurence O’Toole National, and inoculated against the H1N1virus.



Barrister Frank Crean said Niamh’s mother Caroline, of Canon Lillis Avenue, Seville Place, North Strand, Dublin, had signed a form indicating she did not consent to the administration of the vaccine to her daughter.



Mr Crean said Niamh was aged four at the time. The school and the HSE were inoculating pupils on 15 February 2010 when Niamh had been taken from her classroom and administered the vaccine by injection into her left arm.



He told the court the vaccination had taken place against the mother’s instructions. The school had notified the parents of pupils that the HSE proposed to inoculate pupils against the H1N1 virus as part of its nationwide vaccination programme.



Mr Crean said Niamh had been given a form for one of her parents to sign to indicate consent or refusal. Ms Fleming had signed the form indicating she did not consent to the administration of the vaccine to Niamh.



On February 15 both defendants had removed Niamh from her class, brought her to another room and administered the vaccine by way of intramuscular injection.



In a Civil Bill claiming damages on her daughter’s behalf, Ms Fleming alleged that representatives of both defendants had “falsely imprisoned, assaulted and battered” Niamh who had suffered personal injuries.



She had a somewhat painful arm following the injection but did not have any other complaints referable to the vaccination. She had not suffered from fever, behavioural or sleep disturbance, headaches, muscle pains, vomiting or sore throat.



The court was told that Niamh’s doctor advised her mother regarding potential side effects of the vaccine that ought to be guarded against but Niamh had not suffered any further adverse consequences.



Mr Crean said the defendants had offered a figure of €4,000 in settlement to the claim for assault, battery, false imprisonment and trespass to Niamh’s person and he was recommending acceptance of it.



Judge Deery approved the settlement.

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