Government sued over ‘vaccine injury’


A man from Mbombela in Mpumalanga filed a civil claim against the Department of Health and Pfizer after the Covid-19 vaccine left him paralyzed.

Desmond Milligan (41) is now demanding more than R31 million (estimated R31 485 056) in damages from these defendants. This includes hospital and medical expenses, expenses he incurred to help with his daily functioning, loss of income and general damages.

“The consequences of the vaccination completely ruined my and my family’s lives. Everything has changed. I can no longer do the things I used to enjoy,” Milligan says in the documents filed with the court.

Interest on the amount is tempore morae until the date of payment at the legally prescribed interest rate.

Milligan received the Pfizer vaccine at a pharmacy in Mbombela (Nelspruit) on 20 July 2021. He then began to experience various symptoms and a rare inflammation of the spinal cord was diagnosed with him days later.

Milligan had to get a wheelchair and was declared medically unfit to continue working in December 2021. He was a manager at the Home of Living Brands dealer in Mbombela, a branch of Bidvest. Because it was a physical job where he worked with clients, he could not return to work.

Milligan also experiences chronic pain, insomnia, swollen lymph nodes, peripheral vascular disease, recurring kidney infections, unstable blood pressure, high blood sugar, depression and anxiety.

He claims his life has changed dramatically. His wife is now the breadwinner of the house and has to take care of him and the couple’s two sons, respectively 10 and 14 years old.

He can no longer practice his hobbies either. These include DIY jobs in and around the house, mountain biking, action cricket, fishing and walking.

“I can’t even drive a vehicle anymore. I became withdrawn towards most people. I spend most of the time with my immediate family. I have no contact with my friends. I am a recluse in my house,” the court documents say.

Medical report

A neurosurgeon, Dr. HJ Edeling, confirmed in his medical report that Milligan’s injury was caused by the Pfizer-Covid-19 vaccination.

“This is because the symptoms developed systematically and in less than 24 hours after the vaccination. The symptoms also worsened within two to four days after the vaccination,” Edeling found.

According to the report, Milligan was healthy just before the vaccination, with no physical, mental or psychological challenges.

“Milligan was not informed of any potential risks related to the vaccination by the nurse or anyone else in the pharmacy prior to the vaccination.”

Hours after the vaccination, the arm in which he was vaccinated began to hurt and swell, after which he systematically developed symptoms of headaches and fatigue.

Two days after the vaccination, Milligan’s headaches worsened and were accompanied by blurred vision, painful eye sockets, severe fatigue and neck pain. He could not go to work due to these conditions and was called off sick by his employer.

In the next two days, he had convulsions, experienced severe chest pains and was short of breath. He also developed low back pain, after which transverse myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) and paralysis of the lower body were diagnosed. He also developed blood clots in his lungs, brain and legs and contracted kidney infections.

Due to these symptoms, he was hospitalized several times and treated by several doctors. He could not return to work at all.

According to the report, Milligan suffers from severe chronic and emotional stress and trauma due to his medical condition.


Milligan is now holding the Department of Health and Pfizer accountable for his so-called vaccine injuries and the impact these injuries have on his and his family’s life.

According to the court documents, the defendants are held liable in terms of section 61 of the Consumer Protection Act for any damage caused in whole or in part as a result of the vaccination which was “unsafe, faulty and dangerous”.

They are also held liable under the law because they did not provide adequate instructions or warnings – regarding the danger arising from or associated with the vaccine.

The court documents state that the Department of Health and Pfizer failed in their duty to conduct proper research into the potential side effects of the vaccine and were negligent in informing the public of these potential side effects.

The claimant argues that the department has a constitutional duty to protect, promote, improve and maintain the health of its citizens.

“According to the Constitution, the plaintiff has the right to physical and psychological integrity, which includes his right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without the plaintiff’s consent,” the court documents state.

The only financial help available to Milligan is the compensation scheme for Covid-19 vaccine injuries.

The aim of the scheme is to provide quick and easy access to compensation for persons who have suffered a vaccine injury. The injuries specified by the scheme are limited to serious injuries, which may result in permanent physical or mental disabilities, temporary physical or mental disabilities or death.

In terms of the scheme, a claimant with a 90% permanent disability caused by a vaccine injury is entitled to a maximum amount of R262 500.

Due to the nature and extent of the damage Milligan suffered, the scheme was not the appropriate and effective financial tool for Milligan and therefore he turned to court instead.