With all the recent debate over vaccines, there’s one point you may have heard from anti-vaccination proponents to back up their decision to not vaccine themselves or children: That you can’t sue vaccine manufacturers for vaccine injuries.
In 1986, congress created a separate no-fault court to handle complaints and claims from those who suffered harm due
to vaccines. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is funded by vaccine manufacturers and is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. When a claim is made against a vaccine manufacturer, the HHS determines if the claim is valid and what it’s worth. Compensation for valid claims is limited to $250,000.
Prior to 2011, if your vaccine claim was denied by HHS, you were still able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit and sue the vaccine manufacturer in court. However, after the 2011 Supreme Court ruling in a vaccine injury case against vaccine manufacturer Wyeth, parents are no longer allowed to bring personal injury lawsuits in vaccine injury cases.
The Court decided in a 6-2 decision that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was designed to handle all vaccine complaints and protect vaccine manufacturers from claims. In the decision, Justice Antonin Scalia said that when a vaccine is properly prepared and accompanied by proper directions and warnings, lawsuits over side effects are not allowed.
So what does that mean if you believe you have a case of vaccine injury? The only way you are allowed to bring a case is if your injury falls in the category of improper preparation or a failure to inform you of the side effects and how to care for them, or your child experiences a side effect or injury that is not present on the warning labels.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-521-4636.