Parents Can’t Sue Vaccine Manufacturers

Parents whose children are harmed or killed by allegedly defective vaccines  can’t sue the manufacturers for damages in state court and must instead accept  no-fault compensation from a national tribunal for vaccination injuries, a  federal appeals court ruled.

The Ninth U.S.  Circuit Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of a suit by a Las Vegas couple  whose baby son suffered seizures and died after an immunization shot, saying  such suits were precluded by a 1986 federal law.

The law established a “vaccine court” where those who claimed injuries from  vaccination must file their claims. If a hearing officer determined that the  harm was consistent with the vaccine’s known side effects, the victim would be  awarded compensation without having to prove that the manufacturer caused the  harm or acted negligently.

Vaccine makers who comply with Food  and Drug Administration requirements for product ingredients and labeling  are protected by the law from additional damage claims by the victim, or by the  heirs of a victim who died.

The law provided “easier and more certain compensation in exchange for  limited remedies within the traditional (court) system,” said Judge Sidney  Thomas in the 3-0 ruling.

He said Congress passed the law after hearing testimony that vaccines harmed  a very small number of people, but the resulting lawsuits were “threatening the  stability of the nation’s vaccination program.”

In this case, the child’s estate received $250,000, the maximum award for a  vaccine-related death, but far less than the damages typically awarded to heirs  in a wrongful-death suit. Lawyers for the parents argued that the law did not  apply to them, because only the child or his estate – not his heirs – can file  claims in the vaccine court, but the Ninth  Circuit disagreed.

Robert  Murdock, a lawyer for the parents, said the ruling unfairly denies  compensation to parents for the grief they suffer at the loss of a child. He  said his clients, Erin and Shawn  Holmes, would ask the full appeals court for a rehearing and take their case  to the Supreme  Court if necessary.

Nine days after the Holmes’ 1-year-old son, Jacob, was given a vaccine,  manufactured by Merck & Co., for measles, mumps and rubella, he started  suffering seizures and brain disorders known as encephalopathies. He died six  months later, in October 2002.

In their lawsuit, the parents claimed Merck had failed to warn families about  the danger of encephalopathies.

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1 Comment on Parents Can’t Sue Vaccine Manufacturers

  1. So, there we go… another quasi-judicial gag order, disempowering bereft parents. Insult added to the original injury… That’s what’s left of the GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE!
    I hope you do enjoy such statist, liberal nirvana, because more of it is coming! Thank you very much, Mr.President!

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