An Australian man who developed pericarditis after being required to take Pfizer's COVID-19 booster shot as a condition of his employment has won a landmark case against his employer. Daniel Shepherd, a youth worker, experienced severe chest pains after receiving the booster and was later diagnosed with post-vaccine pericarditis. The South Australian Employment Tribunal ruled that Shepherd's employer must pay worker's compensation benefits and reimburse him for medical expenses.
Pericarditis is a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by inflammation of the sac-like membrane surrounding the heart. Shepherd's symptoms have persisted and have limited his ability to work. The Department for Child Protection, Shepherd's new employer, argued that they were exempt from worker's compensation liability due to the government mandate for the vaccine. However, the judge disagreed, stating that it would be unjust to deny compensation to an employee who was complying with a vaccination mandate designed to protect public health.
This ruling sets an important precedent for holding employers accountable for injuries resulting from workplace COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Under Australian worker's compensation law, an employer is liable if the workplace significantly contributes to the injury and taking the vaccine is sufficiently related to the employee's work. In Shepherd's case, two cardiologists confirmed that his injury was caused by the vaccine, making his case more clear-cut.
However, not all vaccine-injured Australians have been successful in seeking compensation. Many face challenges in obtaining compensation for less common or unclear diagnoses, as medical professionals may be hesitant to admit causation. The worker's compensation program in Australia has also been criticized for its narrow requirements and low compensation offers, leaving many vaccine-injured individuals without adequate support.
Some Australians are turning to class-action lawsuits as an alternative route to seek reparation. One such lawsuit was filed against the Therapeutic Goods Administration for negligence and misfeasance in public office in relation to the approval and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccines. Another class-action suit targets Pfizer and Moderna directly, alleging that their products meet the Australian definition of genetically modified organisms without the proper licenses.
Although vaccine injuries and deaths are often considered “rare” by those who have not personally experienced them, it is becoming less taboo for Australians to discuss stories of vaccine injuries. The mainstream media has also started covering these stories, indicating a growing awareness of the issue.
Overall, Shepherd's successful case highlights the importance of holding employers accountable for injuries resulting from vaccine mandates. It also sheds light on the challenges faced by vaccine-injured individuals in seeking compensation and the growing interest in class-action lawsuits as a means of obtaining reparation.