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Denial of Entitlement – Autoimmune Encephalitis

Kenney v. HHS, (Fed. Cl. Spec. Mstr. Jan. 16, 2015) (Moran, SM)

Denial of Entitlement – Autoimmune Encephalitis

Because Petitioner did not establish that she had autoimmune encephalitis, the condition she alleged was vaccine-caused, she could not prevail.  The special master found that her clinical presentation greatly differed from how typical cases of autoimmune epilepsy manifest, none of her doctors diagnosed autoimmune epilepsy and Respondent’s expert was more qualified in the field of epilepsy, thus more persuasive on diagnosis.

Because the diagnosis issue was dispositive, the special master “decline[d] to determine, strictly as a hypothetical matter, how the causation evidence preponderate[d].”  This is a shift from prior court practices, and is probably the result of the court’s extremely high caseload.

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