This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions in cases appealed from the Court of Federal Claims. The first opinion comes in a case addressing whether a petitioner could recover for injuries occurring after a vaccination. The second opinion comes in a tax refund suit and addresses the subject matter jurisdiction of the Court of Federal Claims and the timeliness of the suit. Here are the introductions to the opinions.

Wright v. Secretary of Health and Human Services (Precedential)

The son, B.W., of Petitioner-Appellee Heather Wright experienced immune thrombocytopenic purpura after receiving his measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Later blood tests showed his condition had resolved. More than six months after he was first diagnosed, B.W. presented with bruising, a possible symptom of immune thrombocytopenic purpura, but blood tests showed the condition had not recurred. The Court of Federal Claims held that those blood tests, occurring more than six months after his initial diagnosis, were “residual effects” of B.W.’s vaccine injury that satisfied the severity requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-11(c)(1)(D). We disagree. A residual effect must be a change within the patient that is caused by the vaccine injury. Because B.W.’s later bruising was not caused by his vaccine injury, and his tests did not reveal, constitute, or cause any somatic change, we reverse the Court of Federal Claims’s decision.

Brown v. United States (Precedential)

George P. Brown and Ruth Hunt-Brown appeal from the decision of the United States Court of Federal Claims (the “Claims Court”) dismissing their tax refund suit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. See Brown v. U.S., 151 Fed. Cl. 530 (2020) (“Decision”). While we disagree that the court lacked jurisdiction, we nonetheless affirm because the court was correct that the Browns failed to prove that their claim for refund was duly filed.