Lawyers prepare for 100 jab cases

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The Independent Online
LAWYERS MET at the High Court in London yesterday to prepare for the forthcoming legal battle over the controversial jab against measles, mumps and rubella.

After the Government's announcement that alternatives to the triple vaccine have been banned, solicitors and counsel dealt with preliminary procedural issues at a private meeting before John Ungley, Master of the Supreme Court.

The group action, involving some 100 parents who claim their children were permanently damaged by the MMR jab, will eventually go to a full hearing before a High Court judge. It is estimated that as many as 2,000 families are planning to sue for damages.

Fears that the jab triggers autism and the bowel ailment Crohn's Disease have resulted in many parents refusing to allow their children to be immunised and raised fears among health officials of a measles epidemic by 2002.

The Department of Health insists the triple jab is safe, and that there is no evidence linking it with autism or Crohn's Disease. Parents, still unconvinced, expressed their anger when the importation of unlicensed single-dose vaccine alternatives was banned recently.