October 16, 2002

(202) 994-0616
Matthew Nehmer 
(202) 994-6467 


WASHINGTON – Students from The George Washington University Law School’s Vaccine Injury Clinic won a multi-million dollar settlement in the case of Dela Rosa v. Secretary of Health and Human Services on September 24, 2002. 

In the Dela Rosa case, the Clinic petitioned the court for compensation after its client’s 10-year-old daughter suffered serious injuries, including brain damage and a seizure disorder, as a direct result of the government mandated measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. The United States Court of Federal Claims ruled that the client was entitled to a multi-million dollar compensation settlement, allowing her to remove her daughter from an institution to receive home care. 


“This case exemplifies the need for the Vaccine Injury Clinic,” said Peter H. Meyers, professor of clinical law and faculty supervisor for the clinic. “Our students were able to successfully represent a client in a difficult case which most lawyers would have never taken. 


“This particular case was very complex,” continued Meyers. “There were no published studies connecting the MMR vaccine with our client’s injuries. Therefore, our students had to do comprehensive medical research in addition to preparing for all of the legal issues in the case.”


Founded in 1994, the Clinic was designed to represent parents seeking vaccine-injury compensation under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The Clinic is staffed by second- and third-year students specially admitted as student-attorneys in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims who work under the supervision of the clinical faculty supervisor. 


“The students do all of the work and have the authority to do everything an attorney would do,” explained Meyers. “They draft legal petitions, obtain and file medical records with the court, interview experts and witnesses, and do all of the talking in the trials.” 


Currently the only law school vaccine injury clinic in the country, GW’s Clinic has obtained compensation in a wide variety of cases through negotiation and litigation ensuring that children with severe injuries receive excellent care throughout the duration of their lives. 

Professor Meyers has more than 30 years of litigation experience and has argued a number of precedent-setting cases including oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court, which established important standing principles. He has also served as chair of the Department of Health and Human Service’s Childhood Vaccines Workgroup Advisory Commission and has been a designated reviewer by The National Academy of Sciences for multiple publications involving vaccine-related issues.

-- GW --