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U.S. Supreme Court Considering Expanding Liability for Vaccine Injuries

November 06, 2010

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to hear arguments in a case that may broaden liability of drug companies for vaccine-related injuries. The case being considered is a product liability lawsuit brought by parents of a girl who suffered convulsions and brain damage as an infant. The girl's injuries left her unable to speak and in need of round the clock care for the rest of her life. The vaccine that is alleged to have caused the girl's injuries is Tri-Immunol, a diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT) vaccine that was manufactured by Wyeth.

The decision of the nation's highest court could have a significant impact on future vaccine injury cases by narrowing the broad scope of immunity granted to manufacturers of drug vaccines. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the girl's parents, many other parents who currently are facing astronomical medical and rehabilitative costs associated with defective vaccine injuries may be able to pursue claims for their children's injuries. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured by defective and dangerous products in the Atlanta area and throughout the state of Georgia for over 39 years.

Prior to the current case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, parents' remedies have been somewhat limited in seeking compensation for vaccine-related injuries to their children. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 significantly limited the financial responsibility of drug makers resulting from vaccine-related injuries. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program was subsequently developed to offer a federal system of compensation for vaccine-related injuries or deaths, by establishing a claim procedure involving the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The parents in the pending case have argued that the broad immunity provided by the NCVIA should not apply in this case because the company chose to use Tri-Immunol when there were other alternatives. In product liability litigation, the cost and availability of suitable alternatives is one consideration that a court may consider when determining the liability of a defendant for a product that causes injuries to others. A decision by the Supreme Court to weaken the NCVIA would make it easier for parents to bring actions on behalf of children who suffer vaccine-related injuries.

Georgia already acted to permit an action under state law for vaccine-related injuries. A 1997 Georgia Supreme Court decision held that the National Childhood Vaccine Act of 1986, did not preempt state court lawsuits claiming that the defective design of a vaccine caused injurious side effects. This Supreme Court ruling could further expand the rights of aggrieved parents who suffer tragic injuries to their children as a result of defective vaccines to seek financial compensation for the extraordinary medical costs and lifetime care that can be associated with such vaccine-related injuries.

If you or someone you love has been injured by a defective or dangerous drug or vaccine, or had a severe adverse reaction to a medication, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, for a free consultation. Our Georgia Products Liability Attorneys and Adverse Drug Reaction Attorneys and are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.