British parents suspecting that their children have been damaged from the whooping cough vaccine can take heart from a recent Irish Supreme Court ruling that a toxic batch of pertussis vaccine caused gross brain damage to Kenneth Best 23 years ago.
This judgment overturned a ruling by the Irish High Court that there was insufficient proof that the vaccine had caused the damage. A retrial has been ordered to determine compensation.
The ruling coincides with moves by solicitors in Britain to mount a new series of cases concerning whooping cough vaccine.
Such cases dried up after 1988, when the High Court ruled in the case of Moira Loveday that there wasn't enough evidence to prove that the pertussis vaccine could cause brain damage.
In light of the Best judgement, solicitors believe that expert evidence could establish the link where Loveday failed and give the many cases of alleged damage their day in court. Thus far, legal aid has been granted in some 80 cases for neurological assessments of brain damage.