By Alicia Gallegos
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld liability protections for vaccine makers, ruling that they can’t be sued in state court for design-defect damages.
In its Feb. 22 opinion, the high court ruled 6-2 in favor of vaccine manufacturer Wyeth, now owned by Pfizer. The ruling said the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act bars design-defect claims against the manufacturer. The 1986 federal law created a no-fault compensation program to shield vaccine manufacturers from excessive tort litigation and stabilize the vaccine market.
The act “reflects a sensible choice to leave complex epidemiological judgments about vaccine design to the [Food and Drug Administration] and the National Vaccine Program, rather than juries,” the court said.