THE parents of a WA girl who has been awarded millions in damages after a defective flu jab left her severely disabled say they it’s a “massive relief” the legal battle is over.
Mick and Kirsten Button’s daughter Saba was just 11 months old when she received the Fluvax shot in April 2010.
The then toddler suffered a hypoxic brain injury, kidney, liver and bone marrow failure. She can now no longer walk and talk and needs round-the-clock care.
Three days after Saba was admitted at Princess Margaret Hospital, Fluvax was recalled. It is now banned for children under five.
Her parents launched legal action against the vaccine’s manufacturer CSL which then launched a cross-claim against the State of WA and the Minister for Health.
Today the Federal Court of Australia approved a settlement which had been reached between the parties. While the details of the payout have been sealed, legal experts have previously said it could be more than $10 million.
Speaking at their Scarborough home today, the Buttons said they were pleased they could not put the legal battle behind them and move forward with Saba’s treatment.
“I suppose today is a bittersweet feeling for us,” Mr Button said. “It’s a relief to have the legal case behind us but we now have the ability to supply Saba with the care, therapy, the equipment, all the things she needs to give her the best quality of life we can.
“She is an amazingly strong little girl who is inspiring us every day.
“Again we would like to thank all our family and friends who have helped us through the last four years. It’s been a long, tough road, so we certainly couldn’t have done this without them.
“But this doesn’t just stop now. Once all the cameras are gone we’re back to business and we have a lot do with Saba.”
The now five-year-old will need extensive therapy for the rest of her life.
Mrs Button said it was relief knowing they can now afford to give their daughter the best care possible.
But, she said, they were realistic about what it could achieve.
“Saba cannot be left alone,” Mrs Button said.