Lassiter Vs. US Federal Court

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I. Items in the below document in BOLD were highlighted as being of special interest related to autism, PDD-NOS and autism-like definitions or related causations.

II. Seven key items from the document first listed immediate below:

1.) The court concludes vaccines caused the brain injury and autism-like symptoms. “The court concludes that a preponderance of the evidence requires a finding for petitioner.”

2.) Pervasive Development Disorder is a term preferred rather than autism. “The term "pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) is preferred to 'autism' because it stresses variability in symptoms and severity and denies that autism is a disease with a single cause." PDD is used in the Revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association as an umbrella term for frankly autistic children and for other children with similar but fewer, less severe symptoms. “

3.) Autism is Brain Damage and Autistic-like symptoms and autism have brain dysfunction and are very similar.  “Dr. Suzanne Steffenburg states in her article entitled "Neuropsychiatric Assessment of Children with Autism: A Population-Based Study," that the majority of children with autism and autistic-like conditions have overt signs of brain dysfunction." P. Ex. 22 [*17]  at 495. The implication is "that brain damage or dysfunction causes autism . . . that autism and autistic-like conditions are neurobiologically very similar . . . and that autism is likely to be a biological disorder with multiple aetiologies [sic]." Id. at 507-509. She concludes that "gene disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, certain hereditary traits and structural brain anomalies caused by environmental hazards, singly or in combination, clearly coincide with the autistic symptomatology. Rather than deciding that autism is 'the cause,'" it should be understood that it is a symptom of an underlying disorder. Id. at 509.”

4.) The medical literature indicates that autism and “autistic-like” signs and symptoms are practically identical.  “A careful interpretation of the literature indicates that autism can be mirrored by a condition that [*19]  includes "autistic-like" signs or symptoms”


5.) There were no pre-existing conditions: “In summary, respondent's evidence and proffered explanations are weak,  [*21]  unconvincing, and insufficient to support a finding of an underlying metabolic or genetic disorder as the cause of Eric's affliction. Petitioner has presented a better case in support of a Table injury.

6.) Autism is not a disease.  Autism is a final expression of contributory factors:  “Doctors Steffenburg and Gillberg list many disorders, 22 in all, which have been associated with autism. They conclude that autism is not a disease but "represents a behavioral syndrome with multiple etiologies. . . . Autism can be the final common expression of various contributory/etiological factors." They explain further that genetic [*15]  factors are in operation in some cases. "Disease entities or pre-and perinatal damage leading to destruction/dysfunction in certain brain areas can cause autism in others."

7.) Infections and toxins are involved in autism.  “In his treatise entitled "Recent Neurobiological Findings in Autism," Luke Y. Tsai also lists a similar variety of established neurologic disorders reported in autism including viral infections and other toxic or environmental causes of brain damage. He explains that it is now well accepted that autism results from dysfunction in certain parts of the central nervous system (CNS) that affect language, cognitive and intellectual development, and the ability to relate. He believes autism may be "the common pathway of a diverse range of organic brain conditions" including both prenatal and post-natal infections or injuries, the latter accounting for those whose autism is manifested "after a period of apparently normal development." Id. at 83-84. P. Ex. 21.”

8.) “The court finds that the symptoms claimed are supported by a preponderance of evidence and may be relied upon as a credible account of events.’’


The full case document can be downloaded at



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