MMR vaccine: lawyers sued for pursuing claim based on link to autism


Dr Andrew Wakefield arrives with wife at a General Medical Council hearing. He was later struck off over his research into the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) jab. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Mark Tran | The Guardian

A man is suing his former legal team for pursuing “hopeless claims” based on flawed research into the MMR vaccine, it has emerged.

Matthew McCafferty, who was diagnosed with autism three years after receiving the vaccine, is taking legal action over a legal claim that he says had no chance of succeeding, according to a report in the Times.

He is suing the lawyers Hodge Jones & Allen for their “unjust enrichment as officers of the court by litigating a hopeless claim funded by legal aid by which you profited”.

More than 1,000 families were involved in a class action that was dropped in 2003 after research by Andrew Wakefield on the link between autism and the MMR vaccine was discredited. He was later struck off as a doctor for offences relating to dishonesty and failing to act in the best interests of vulnerable child patients.

The lengthy group action cost an estimated £15m in legal aid. Michael Shaw, McCafferty’s solicitor, said his claim was the first, but his firm had been in contact with several former MMR vaccine litigants who it believed were entitled to compensation from former lawyers.  Continue reading


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