The Supreme Court will decide whether drug makers can be sued by parents who claim their children suffered serious health problems from vaccines. As reported by the Associated Press, the Court agreed to hear an appeal from parents who want to sue Wyeth over the serious side effects their daughter, six months old at the time, allegedly suffered as a result of the company’s diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine. The lower court ruled against the parents, and said a 1986 federal law bars their claims.
The idea behind the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act was to ensure a stable supply of childhood vaccines by shielding drug makers from most lawsuits, and setting up a federal vaccine court to handle disputes. The law would serve to block state laws that otherwise would give families the ability to sue the manufacturers. The case is Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, 09-152.