Experience you can depend on…
Before beginning her legal career Leah Durant spent a decade and a half working with individuals with serious medical and developmental needs. Leah Durant obtained her law degree in 2004 from the University of Maryland School of Law, and became an appellate attorney with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice where she argued cases before multiple United States Courts of Appeal. Durant currently serves as Principal of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, P.L.L.C., where she accepts vaccine cases and files vaccine claims nationwide on behalf of clients who have suffered a vaccine injury. Leah Durant helps her clients receive fair and appropriate awards in vaccine cases before the Court of Federal Claims.
About the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
On October 1, 1988, The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was created by Congress as a no-fault alternative to the traditional tort system for resolving vaccine injury claims. The VICP was established to ensure an adequate supply of vaccines, stabilize vaccine costs, and establish and maintain an accessible and efficient forum for individuals found to be injured by certain vaccines. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program provides compensation to people found to be injured by vaccines. The law requires that claims for vaccine injuries be processed in the Vaccine Program prior to the filing of any civil lawsuit.
How is my vaccine attorney paid?
Our firm’s representation in vaccine injury cases comes at no cost to you. Our legal fees never come out of any money awarded to you. Instead, our fees are paid separately by the United States Court of Federal Claims, are taken out of the Vaccine Injury Fund. Whether you win or lose, once we agree that there is a reasonable basis to file your case, our firm’s services come at no risk and no charge to you – ever. The only requirement is that the case be filed “in good faith and with a reasonable basis.” Once the Law Office of Leah V. Durant, PLLC has reviewed your case and determined that it meets these standards of good faith and reasonable basis, your case will be filed with the Court and you are not responsible for any legal fees.
Many individuals who suffer an adverse reaction to a vaccination are unable to pay the legal costs of filing and maintaining a lawsuit. The Law Office of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, will pay the costs of litigating your case including expert witness fees, costs associated with obtaining medical records, and most other costs associated with litigating a vaccine claim. At the conclusion of your case your vaccine attorney will seek repayment of those costs from the Court.
How do I file a vaccine injury claim?
Instead of bringing a suit against vaccine manufacturers or your doctor, a person injured must file his or her case in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (located in Washington, DC). Each case is defended by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the defendant or respondent), who is represented by attorneys whose sole job is to handle vaccine related claims at the United States Department of Justice.
All cases brought under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program are presided over by the Office of Special Masters. A special master (or judge) is assigned to every case and decides the outcome in the event it proceeds to a hearing (or trial). Cases that do not proceed to a hearing (or trial) are either settled by the parties in advance of hearing or conceded by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
To prove causation, the Vaccine Act provides a burden-shifting device known as the Vaccine Injury Table. Individuals who suffer injuries according to criteria listed in the Vaccine Injury Table make out a legal case for compensation that the Secretary of Health and Human Services may rebut by proving that the injury was caused by “factors unrelated” to the vaccine. 42 U.S.C.§§ 300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(i), 300aa-13(a)(1)(B).
If an individual who has filed a claim does not meet the criteria outlined in the Table, he or she may still receive compensation by proving that the injury was actually caused by a covered vaccination. 42 U.S.C. §300aa-11(c)(1)(C)(ii). Under current case law, to establish a legal case for actual causation, an individual filing a claim must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the vaccination brought about the injury by providing: (1) a medical theory causally connecting the vaccination and the injury; (2) a logical sequence of cause and effect showing that the vaccination was the reason for the injury; and (3) a showing of a proximate temporal relationship between vaccination and injury.
Compensation awarded under the Vaccine Act is paid from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund, financed by an excise tax on vaccines.
Vaccines covered under VICP:
- Tetanus Toxoid, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, TT, Td)
- Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis or any combination of Diphtheria, Tetanus Toxoid, and Pertussis (“Whooping Cough”) antigen-containing vaccines (for example, DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella or any combination of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (“German Measles”) virus containing vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, R)
- Rubella virus containing vaccines, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, R)
- Measles virus containing vaccines, alone, or in combination with other vaccines (for example, MMR, MR, M)
- Polio live virus containing vaccines (OPV)
- Polio inactivated virus containing vaccines (IPV)
- Hepatitis B vaccines (Hep B)
- Hepatitis A vaccines (Hep A)
- Hemophilus influenzae type b polysaccharide conjugate vaccines (Hib)
- Varicella (“Chicken Pox”) vaccines
- Rotavirus vaccines containing live, oral, rhesus-based rotavirus
- Pneumococcal (“Pneumonia”) conjugate vaccines
- Trivalent Influenza vaccines
- Human PapillomaVirus vaccines
- any combination of above vaccines