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High court rules state responsible for vaccine side effects+
[April 20, 2006]

High court rules state responsible for vaccine side effects+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)OSAKA, April 20_(Kyodo) _ The Osaka High Court ruled Thursday that the state was responsible for failing to properly supervise a manufacturer of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, which caused severe side effects in children, upholding a lower court's decision.

Plaintiffs had sought 120 million yen in compensation from the state, but Presiding Judge Katsutoshi Yokota rejected their claim, saying the manufacturer, the Research Foundation of Microbial Diseases of Osaka University, already paid 170 million yen in compensation to two of the families who won a damages suit at the Osaka District Court in March 2003 and 20 million yen in consolation money to the other family who lost a legal battle over the issue.

The seven plaintiffs were the parents of Daisuke Kinoshita, who died at the age of 2, and another couple who lost their 1-year-old son, as well as Hana Ueno, 16, who suffers severe brain damage, and her parents.

Ueno and the two late boys developed aseptic meningitis after receiving the MMR vaccine between 1989 and 1991. The 1-year-old boy, whose parents lost their initial suit, was determined to have died of influenza.

Judge Yokota ruled the state should be held accountable as it had the authority to choose vaccines and it took the initiative in conducting the vaccinations.

He also said the general public, without specialist knowledge, put their trust in the state when receiving the vaccinations.

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