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Court Protects Vaccine Manufacturers, Not Injured Children

Court Protects Vaccine Manufacturers, Not Injured Children

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Published by: autismone on Feb 22, 2011
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03/04/2013

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:February 22, 2011 Contact: Mary Holland, Esq., (212) 998-6212(917) 743-3868
Robert Krakow, Esq.(917) 763-0063
Court Protects Vaccine Manufacturers, Not Injured Children
Supreme Court Decides Bruesewitz v. Wyeth 6-2, Foreclosing Civil Lawsuits for Vaccine Design Defect 
New York, NY
– The Coalition for Vaccine Safety (CVS) condemns the decision of the U.S.Supreme Court in
Bruesewitz v. Wyeth
to preempt all vaccine design defect lawsuits in state andfederal civil court.  Quoting Justice Sotomayor’s dissent, the majority “imposes its own barepolicy preference over the considered judgment of Congress.”  In the dissent, which JusticeGinsburg joined, Justice Sotomayor argues that the majority misreads the text, misconstrues theAct’s legislative history, and “disturbs the careful balance Congress struck betweencompensating vaccine-injured children and stabilizing the childhood vaccine market.”The actual circumstances in
Bruesewitz v. Wyeth
illustrate why the Supreme Court’s decision ismisguided.  Hannah Bruesewitz, hours after a diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine, developedcatastrophic brain injury and a lifelong seizure disorder.  The only plausible explanation for theharm to Hannah was her vaccine.  Indeed, many other children were injured by the same vaccinelot, yet the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the only court where Hannah could bring her claim, denied compensation after years of litigation.  Now the Supreme Court tells Hannah andher family that there is no courtroom in the country in which she can obtain justice andcompensation for the years of care ahead that she needs.The majority’s true intent appears to be to prevent several thousand tort cases claiming a link between vaccines and autism from reaching civil court to assert that a dangerous vaccine design,using mercury as a preservative, was defective.  Sotomayor writes that this concern, to shieldmanufacturers from litigation, “appears to underlie the majority and concurring opinions in thiscase.”According to vaccine safety advocate Louise Kuo Habakus, “The Court is telling parents thatthey’re on their own.  Parents know that 4 out of 5 cases of vaccine injury do not getcompensation in the misnamed Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.  The Supreme Court hasslammed the courthouse doors shut.”  Because the federal government recommends 70 doses of 16 “unavoidably unsafe” vaccines, and states compel 30-45 doses for school attendance, thisissue affects all children.

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