Rucker v. Secretary of Health and Human Services

<p>In the United States Court of Federal Claims OFFICE OF SPECIAL MASTERS Filed: September 30, 2020 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * GARLAND RUCKER, * PUBLISHED * Petitioner, * No. 19-204V * v. * Special Master Nora Beth Dorsey * SECRETARY OF HEALTH * Fact Ruling; Onset; Influenza (“Flu”) AND HUMAN SERVICES, * Vaccine; Transverse Myelitis (“TM”). * Respondent. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Lawrence Gene Michel, Kennedy, Berkley, et al., Salina, KS, for petitioner. Althea W. Davis, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for respondent. FACT RULING1 On February 5, 2019, Garland Rucker (“petitioner” or “Mr. Rucker”) filed a petition for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 42 U.S.C. §300aa-10, et seq.,2 (“Vaccine Act” or “the Program”). Petitioner alleges that he suffered transverse myelitis (“TM”) after receiving an October 18, 2016 influenza (“flu”) vaccination. Petition at Preamble (ECF No. 1). Respondent, however, asserts that onset of petitioner’s alleged injury began prior to administration of his flu vaccine. Respondent’s Report (“Resp. Rept.”) at 23 (ECF No. 44). Subsequently, the parties discussed the issue of onset, and petitioner requested a fact hearing to 1 Because this Ruling contains a reasoned explanation for the action in this case, the undersigned is required to post it on the United States Court of Federal Claims’ website in accordance with the E-Government Act of 2002. 44 U.S.C. § 3501 note (2012) (Federal Management and Promotion of Electronic Government Services). This means the Ruling will be available to anyone with access to the Internet. In accordance with Vaccine Rule 18(b), petitioner has 14 days to identify and move to redact medical or other information, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy. If, upon review, the undersigned agrees that the identified material fits within this definition, the undersigned will redact such material from public access. 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-10 to -34 (2012). All citations in this Ruling to individual sections of the Vaccine Act are to 42 U.S.C. § 300aa. resolve the question. Order dated May 20, 2020, at 1-2 (ECF No. 45). A fact hearing was held on August 6, 2020. Transcript (“Tr.”) 1. After reviewing all of the evidence, and considering the testimony given by the petitioner and his wife, Georgia Rucker, at the hearing, and for the reasons discussed below, the undersigned finds that onset of petitioner’s numbness from his abdomen to his legs began in September 2016, before the flu vaccine administered to him on October 18, 2016. I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY Along with his petition, petitioner submitted medical records and his affidavit on February 5, 2019. Petitioner’s Exhibits (“Pet. Exs.”) 1-5. Over the course of the next 14 months, petitioner filed additional medical records. ...</p><br>
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