Denial of Attorney’s Fees and Costs – Reasonable Basis


Cole v. HHS, (Fed. Cl. Spec. Mstr. Sep. 4, 2015) (Moran, SM)

Citing Chuisano, the Court observed that “a petitioner satisfies the reasonable basis standard by presenting some evidence that supports the claim asserted in the petition.”  Respondent challenged reasonable basis because a vaccine record was never filed, resulting in the ultimate dismissal of the case.  The petitioner’s own affidavit, and two lay affidavits of persons who had not observed the vaccination, were the only evidence of vaccination offered.  Despite a year-long search for the vaccine record, it was never located. Noting that the statement of a petitioner that he received a covered vaccine does not establish the accuracy of the assertion, especially in a context in which the medical records do not contain any corroboration of the statement, the Court held there was no reasonable basis to the claim and denied fees and costs.

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