If Vaccines are Safe, why are Manufacturers Protected from Litigation?
The 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was passed under Ronald Reagan, who admitted to serious reservations after signing. In Essence, it prevents Americans from directly suing Vaccine Manufacturers in a Civil Court of Law. Instead, they must file a claim with a Special "Vaccine Court" under the US Court of Federal Claims.
The Court was Created to Save the Vaccine Industry
“The creation of the [VICP] saved the vaccine industry in the U.S.,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, referencing the liability shield given to pharmaceutical companies in the 1986 vaccine act. “It provided a vehicle for compensation for genuine vaccine-related injuries,” he added.
The Court Fails to Perform as Promised
“We’re bitterly disappointed,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the nonprofit National Vaccine Information Center. “In my view, this has been turned into stockholder’s dream and a consumer’s worst nightmare.” Fisher noted that two-thirds of petitioners who apply for compensation are turned away, which she said departs from the original mandate to assume an injury was caused by a vaccine unless there is a more plausible explanation. The Government Accountability Office echoed some of Fisher’s concerns in a 2014 review of the VICP, which emphasized that most of the claims filed since 1999 were taking years to adjudicate. More than 1,000 claims were pending as of 2014, with some petitioners stuck in limbo for over a decade, the watchdog agency said. An Associated Press investigation that same year found more alarming problems with the vaccine court. According to the report, families trying to care for permanently disabled children were getting inadequate compensation. It also revealed that some attorneys were filing unsubstantiated claims because they receive payment through the VICP regardless of whether they won or lost.
The Vaccine Court is Unconstitutional
Amendment VII: In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
- John Smith
The Constitution Mandates a Jury Trial for ALL Civil Litigation when the amount in question is over $20. The concept of setting up a Court made up of Politically appointed Attorneys to decide complicated medical matters for the sake of unwarranted profits is a threat to the Constitution itself. The Court is made up of Politically appointed judges with Legal experience and NO Medical experience. They owe their jobs to the Politicians who appointed them. And, the politicians owe the Vaccine Companies that got them elected.
Manufacturers Not Liable for any Unavoidable, Adverse Side Effects
NCVIA establishes a Vaccine Injury Table of all possible types of vaccines, associated side effects, and timelines for experiencing side effects that may warrant compensation. If someone has suffered an injury that fits the criteria listed on the table, he or she does not need to prove that the vaccine caused the injury or that the vaccine was defective in some way . Instead, the burden is on the government to prove otherwise [6, 7]. If the injury is not on the table, the injured person must prove that the vaccine caused the injury, as in a regular tort lawsuit. In either event, if the injured party wins, he or she can be reimbursed for medical care, rehabilitation, counseling, and vocational training expenses, diminished earning capacity, pain, and suffering. Surviving family members receive $250,000 if the vaccine resulted in death. If the case is not frivolous (meaning it has some serious purpose or value), all attorney fees are provided through the vaccine fund . If the injured party does not wish to accept the judgment of the vaccine court, he or she can reject it and seek relief through the regular court system . Damages are paid from a fund raised by taxes on vaccines, and manufacturers are generally shielded from liability so long as they comply with certain regulatory requirements and do not commit fraud, engage in criminal or illegal activity, or intentionally withhold information from the patient . Manufacturers are not liable for any “unavoidable, adverse side effects,”
Supreme Court Negates Right to Sue When You Disagree with Court
... Within 24 hours of (DPT) injection, Hannah began experiencing seizures, more than 100 occurring in the first month alone. When Hannah reached her teens, she continued to suffer from seizure disorder and developmental delay . Hannah’s parents’ first claim in the vaccine court in 1995 seeking recovery for their daughter’s injuries was unsuccessful because her injuries were not listed on the vaccine injury table . Mr. and Mrs. Bruesewitz then sued the manufacturer, Wyeth, outside of vaccine court. They lost, appealed, and lost again before the Supreme Court agreed to review the case. Hannah’s parents argued that Wyeth was responsible for Hannah’s injuries because the vaccine was defectively designed by the manufacturer. The majority of the court concluded that a defective design claim is barred by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and, thus, Wyeth was not liable for the injuries caused to Hannah. They interpreted the NCVIA to mean that all side effects, including design defects, are not subject to liability claims so long as “there was proper manufacture and warning” . While lawsuits against other types of product manufacturers generally allow an injured party to sue for any of three problems (defective manufacture, inadequate warning, and defective design), the Supreme Court read the act as insulating vaccine manufacturers from the third claim (defective design).
The Value of Litigation with Pharmaceutical Products
The reality of litigation is that it has protected consumers from dangerous side-effects from other drugs that were also sold as essential for the public health by a good marketing company. "The FDA has three classes of recall: Those products that merely violate the FDA’s labeling or manufacturing laws; those that might cause a temporary health problem or pose a slightly serious threat; and those dangerous or defective products that could cause serious health problems or death." (mdlinx) Cylert (For ADD & ADHD), Bextra (pain Relief), and Viox (arthritis) are just a few. Lawsuits protect the public from unnecessary risk in an Industry that calculates the future payout for liabilities before bringing a drug to market.
Vaccine Companies Have No Motivation for Improvement
By granting vaccine company's immunity, the law has taken away all motivation for safer and more effective vaccines. Lawsuits keep the industry honest. And, as a result, protect the end user from dangerous side effects that can maim or kill. Tort Reform is definitely needed to prevent unjust enrichment through excessive awards. But, the Constitution is there to protect all of us from Predators trying to maximize profits at the public expense. Also, Caps on Attorney fees in Class Action Lawsuits need to be put in place. But, in a system run by lawyers and law firms, that is unlikely to happen.