© 2008 The Medical-Legal News
Vaccines have made the news recently, with many of the reports and cases contradictory.
The latest credible study looking at the link between childhood vaccinations and autism has found no causal link, according to a study in a September issue of PLoS One, (Public Library of Science).
Yet, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled in early October that an autism-caused-by-thimerosal case could go forward. The plaintiff parents (Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari) had claimed that a vaccine made by Wyeth caused their son’s autism. The state high court said in a unanimous decision that the federal National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act did not pre-empt state law. Seven other state courts have ruled otherwise. The Georgia court said the federal statute does not pre-empt all design defect claims, according to an Oct. 6 Associated Press story.
The Legal Intelligencer reported on Sept. 9 that a state court judge ruled in Wright v. Aventis that claims against vaccination makers are precluded under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. The legal theories of defective design and failure to warn were involved. The court said plaintiffs may still prevail if they can show that a vaccine maker 1) engaged in fraud in dealing with the FDA, 2) withheld information related to a vaccine’s safety or 3) was negligent in the manufacturing of the drug.
In other vaccine news, also reported by the AP, a St. Louis man (Cortez Strong) had his legal victory against a polio vaccine maker upheld by an appeals court. The court permitted an $8.5 million judgment with $2.8 million for prejudgment interest. Strong claimed to have contracted polio in 1987 just after a second dose of the vaccine, Orimune, made by American Cyanamid (now part of Wyeth). Orimune was discontinued in 2000.