Supreme Court Set to Hear Historic
Vaccine Injury Compensation Case
Chief Justice to Hear Case Sells Pfizer Shares
North Hollywood, CA, October 8, 2010. On Tuesday, October 12 the Supreme Court in an unprecedented move will be hearing Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, Inc., now a unit of Pfizer. The hearing will determine whether Section 22(b)(1) of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 — which expressly preempts certain design defect claims against vaccine manufacturers. The historic case appeals a lower court decision that upheld a manufacturer’s immunity for a defectively designed vaccine. The outcome of this case will render important implications as to whether persons harmed by vaccines can ever – under any circumstances, sue a pharmaceutical company.
As the law stands now, a victim of vaccine injury must file in the Vaccine Court first, with a legal option to sue the manufacturer in some situations. It is this legal right that is in jeopardy and will be decided by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
In a September 28, 2010, article The Wall Street Journal reported; Chief Justice Roberts Sells Pfizer Shares
In another case, the court is preparing to hear oral arguments next month to decide whether a federal law on vaccine injuries shields vaccine makers from certain types of product-liability lawsuits.
The case centers on a Pennsylvania lawsuit in which parents alleged that their 6-month-old daughter developed residual seizure disorder after receiving a vaccine manufactured by Wyeth, which is now a unit of Pfizer.
When the court announced in March that it would hear the case, it indicated that Justice Roberts was not participating. However, a recent docket entry this month no longer indicates that Justice Roberts is sitting out. The Sept. 3 entry notes only that Justice Kagan is recused.
According to a March 2010 Age of Autism article, The Supreme Court Takes Bruesewitz v. Wyeth: Is There Justice for Vaccine Injury Victims?, “…if the Supreme Court upholds Bruesewitz, it will basically achieve what the pharmaceutical industry and the American Medical Association wanted in 1986 and since – that so-called vaccine court is the “exclusive remedy” for cases of vaccine injury. They seek this “exclusive remedy” although it is anything but – because vaccine court fails those whom vaccines injured.
“The significance of the Bruesewitz case relates to all vaccine injury – it goes to the heart of whether Vaccine Court is fulfilling the role Congress set for it, and whether it is possible to challenge the design safety of a vaccine in any court in the United States. For the autism community, the case could not be more central – it will determine whether the 5,000 petitioners in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding can continue their claims in state and federal courts if Vaccine Court ultimately dismisses their claims.”
According to the New England Journal of Medicine
- Vaccine manufacturers have paid out $2B in damages from MMR & DPT vaccines.
- As of 2007, 7000 more claims were going through the pipeline.
- 2,000 families have received compensation payments averaging $850,000 each.
Approximately 7,000 parents have filed a claim of an adverse reaction with America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To win an award, the claimant must prove a causal link to a vaccine. As the medical establishment has refused to recognize any link to autism, the VICP has so far rejected 300 claims for this outright. (Source: New England Journal of Medicine)Medicine, 2007; 357: 1275-9)
SANE Vax.org believes that any product marketing as life-saving should be just that. The manufacturers of products mandated for public health and well-being have responsibility to live up to the nature of their claim. Anything less is a crime against humanity.
Either individually or collectively, it is important to write to urge the Supreme Court to uphold a citizen’s right as it currently exists to sue a pharmaceutical company for vaccine adverse reactions and to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible when they produce an unsafe vaccine product.
Letters can be addressed to:
Neal Katyal, Acting Solicitor General
Office of the Solicitor General
US Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530