The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a special master’s ruling that denied compensation under the Vaccine Injury Act to parents of a child who allegedly became severely autistic after receiving a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

Cedillo v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs., No. 2010-5004 (Fed. Cir., decided August 27, 2010). Because autism is not listed on the Vaccine Injury Table, petitioners must prove that the vaccine caused the injury, and most of the court’s opinion addresses challenges to rulings made about admissible evidence and expert testimony. The court found no abuse of discretion in the special master’s rulings and no error in the legal standards applied. The court concluded that the decision was “rationally supported by the evidence, well-articulated, and reasonable.”  

The case was one of the three lead autism claims in an omnibus proceeding involving some 5,000 petitions alleging a link between childhood vaccines and autism. Compensation has been denied in all of the proceedings.