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July 11, 2012

Please note: When this post first went live, Lilly was still alive and doing OK. Lilly ultimately died from her adverse vaccine reaction (and illness and side-effects of treatment) on December 17, 2013. We spent 23 months and nearly $31,000 fighting to save her. We lost. 

And, now, here is part three (of five) posts about my attempt to get financial help from the company that manufactured the rabies vaccine Lilly received January 23, 2012. Today, here are details on why I turned down the adverse vaccine reaction financial settlement.

Yesterday, we posted an overview of the legal release form required before any money would be paid. I took issue with clauses #5 and #6 in the agreement.

#5 was essentially an ironclad, all-inclusive non-disclosure agreement (a “gag order,” if you prefer).

The company veterinarian in charge of our case told me that the company lawyers told her to tell me that the non-disclosure clause of the legal release went beyond just the settlement amount itself. It extended to all discussion – verbally or in writing – of Lilly’s case.

Essentially, in my view, clause #5 required me to give up my First Amendment rights. As a working, professional journalist, I’m sensitive to the idea of protecting free speech and free press. It’s the cornerstone of what I do for a living.

#6 was an anti-defamation clause that covered not just me, but anything anyone else might say or write about our case.

My attorney declared clause #6 “horseshit.”

Based on those two clauses, and after searching my own conscience and conferring with many advisers (including my lawyer and veterinarian), I declined the vaccine company’s financial settlement offer.

So far in this series of blog posts, I’ve tried hard to be factual, unemotional, and undramatic.

Tomorrow, kids. I rant.


Here are links to all 5 parts of this Adverse Vaccine Reaction Financial Settlement series of posts:

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

Part 4 –

Part 5 –


About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. I don’t see how you could have signed–clause 6 is virtually impossible to enforce. Crazy! And, of course, clause 5 is unacceptable.

  2. Like Linda, I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s rant post, either. I commend you for the restraint with which you’ve covered this topic for the last three days.

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