U.S. Supreme Court to Look at Vaccine Liability

Following some lower-court rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing a case in Pennsylvania over a lawsuit concerning alleged a<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs">dverse health reactions following vaccinations, said Reuters.

The case was initiated by the parents of a child who experienced seizures after she received her third vaccination dose of a diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine, said Reuters. The parents sued vaccine manufacturer, Wyeth, which was purchased by Pfizer Inc. in 2009. A significant point had to do with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which says no manufacturer “shall be liable in any civil action” for an injury that “resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings,” quoted Reuters.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that federal law does allow for “design defect claims” against U.S. vaccine manufacturers; however, the Philadelphia appeals court ruled that Congress prohibited these lawsuits as a measure to protect industry, explained Reuters. According to the Obama administration, the federal law prevents design defect lawsuits in state court, but because of the conflicting rulings, it was appropriate for he Supreme Court to become involved, added Reuters.

About 5,000 claims are pending under the federal compensation process and claim links between childhood vaccines and neurological damage, including autism. The origins of autism have long been questioned and critics have blamed PCBs, mercury, and vaccinations, to name a few. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was recently found—in two studies—to contain mercury, which has been at the root of a long and expansive debate over its connection to vaccines, fish, and the prevalence of autism and autism spectrum disorders plaguing children today.

The Pennsylvania case involves a child whose seizure disorder and significant developmental delays were caused, alleged her parents, from “toxins inherent in the vaccine design,” said Reuters. Under the federal compensation process, the claims were rejected; the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments and issue a decision in its next term, beginning in October, reported Reuters.

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