W. J. v. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Pro Se

Issue(s) Presented

“Whether it was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, clearly erroneous, or otherwise not in accordance with the law for:”

  1. “Judge Davis to uncritically accept that the Special Master had the authority to entertain and rule on the Secretary’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion even though Congress specifically refrained from granting the special masters authority to do so in proceedings under the Vaccine Act. Infra, pp. 26-29.”
  2. “the Special Master, then Judge Davis, to consider evidence or the lack thereof as a basis for deciding on the Rule 12(b)(6) motion in deviation from the U.S. Supreme Court’s Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard and Rule 12(d) of the Rules of the Court of Federal Claims (RCFC). Infra, pp. 29-33.”
  3. “Judge Davis to find that the Special Master did not breach the U.S. Constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine by ordering the Secretary to file a motion to dismiss our Petition. Infra, pp. 33-42.”
  4. “Judge Davis to dismiss our extraordinary circumstance equitable tolling claim based solely upon a purported law which she did not pinpointedly cite or quote, and which does not in fact exist. Infra, pp. 42-44.”
  5. “Judge Davis to find that our Petition did not contain sufficient well-pleaded factual allegations to find that our fraudulent concealment equitable tolling claim is a claim upon which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6). Infra, pp. 44-51.”
  6. “Judge Davis to find that we do not have standing to bring a discrimination claim under the Fourteenth Amendment and Section 504 on behalf of W.J. Infra, pp. 57-60.”


1.  “We therefore find that special masters have jurisdiction to rule on motions to dismiss.”

2. “Nothing in this language, nor any other provision of the Vaccine Act, excludes 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss.”

3. “That the government happened to be the party filing the motion to dismiss, which they very likely would have filed regardless of the special master’s inquiry and which Parents had the opportunity to oppose, does not convert the special master’s routine case management action into a separation-of-powers issue.”

4.”The special master did not simply invoke the presence of legal guardians and, as a consequence, decline to apply equitable tolling.”

5. “We therefore affirm the Court of Federal Claims’ conclusion that equitable tolling was not appropriate and, thus, that Appellants’ petition was not timely filed under 42 U.S.C. § 300aa-16(a)(2).”


Selected Proceedings and Orders
September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
February 21, 2024