nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Supreme Court Rules "No Suits Against Vaccine Makers"

The decision wasn't even close (6-2).  For some, this result doesn't make sense...but it does.

Here's how the Des Moines Register (Mar 2) described the case:
"Last month the U.S. Supreme Court sent a message to American parents: If you think a vaccine harmed your child, don't turn to the local courthouse. In a 6-2 ruling, the court affirmed federal law that prevents vaccine makers from being sued in state courts and protects them from civil liability in "damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death."
Before we hear from those who would argue for the parents and their children, consider this:

1.  The vaccines in question have been approved safe and effective by the FDA.  We're not talking about experiemental or unlicensed use.
2.  Back when vaccine makers feared constant lawsuits over their products, the industry was bailing out of making them.  This created several crises, resulting in vaccine shortages.
3.  As a result, Congress set up a vaccine court to hear all cases of harm to children, a "no fault" alternative to suing companies who make quality products, but can't guarantee that no one will have a reaction to the vaccine.  Even the safest of our vaccines, while saving millions of lives, cause adverse reactions to somebody.

The vaccine court's responsibility is to establish whether the vaccine caused the harm, then award compensation from a federal fund established for that purpose.  Establishing cause and effect allows the science to eliminate the litigous, ambulance chasers, and those whose claim is without merit  (there are a lot of these).

[This Supreme Court case was one of the latter.  There was no link between the injury and vaccine, so the parents and their lawyers went after the company.]

The National Vaccine Compensation Program (that set up the vaccine court) has been a success.  Vaccine companies have continued to, and in some cases re-started, making vaccines, and those who are innocently harmed have an avenue to seek redress.

Had the Supreme Court ruled otherwise, vaccine makers would have to increase the cost to cover liability, and lawyers would have a deep pocket to bring cases against.  Parents who misapprehend what caused their child's problem would have had a way to pursue a baseless claim to jurors who might be swayed by the tragedy alone.

As the world's leader in lawsuits, the US doesn't need to fabricate more.

Doc D

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